Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam popularly known as People’s president is one of the most inspiring personalities India has ever had. Words fall short to describe the greatness of this human filled with humility and kindness. His love for children and youngsters is a fact known to every Indian. Here are a few instances which reveal how kind, loving, humble Dr. Kalam was despite him being the President of India:
- APJ Abdul Kalam rejected the idea to put broken glass on compound of a building that needed protection
This incident occurred when Dr. Kalam was working with Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). In one of the meetings, the core team of DRDO was discussing alternatives to secure the perimeter of a building that needed protection. As one of them suggested to put broken glass on the compound to protect the building, Dr. Kalam rejected the idea straight away saying, “If we do that, birds will not be able to perch on the wall.”
- He not only obliged to meet kids at Rashtrapathi Bhavan but he also gave a patient listening to their ideas
Kalam loved spending time with and sharing thoughts with the youth of the nation. We have seen many instances where Dr. Kalam has shared his valuable thoughts and changed the lives of thousands of students. But this amazing orator was a good listener too. The kids and youngsters who would request to meet Dr. Kalam would be invited to Rashtrapati Bhavan where he would meet them and listen to their ideas. Dr. Kalam would also often contact the youngsters and ask them about the progress of their ideas. Too much for a President to do? That’s the exact reason why he was much loved by everyone.
- Kalam took the matter into his own hands when there was a power failure just before he delivered his speech.
Soon after Dr. Kalam was declared as the next President of India, he was to deliver a speech at a modest school. Even though he had a busy schedule, Dr. Kalam made it a point to visit the school to address the students with a minimal security around him. As he was about to deliver the address, the power went off. This did not deter Dr. Kalam from delivering his speech. He walked right into the middle of the hall and asked the students to surround him. Then he spoke to 400 students who were excitingly waiting to listen to this man of wisdom.
- Kalam donated his life savings and salary to a trust PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas).
As Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India taking over the helm of affairs at Rashtrapati Bhavan, he donated his life savings to a trust which he founded – PURA. As Dr. Kalam knew that the Government takes care of the President and former Presidents of the country, he gave away all his wealth to a trust which worked hard to provide urban amenities to the rural population.
- When Dr. Kalam surprised his fans happy with a personalized “Thank You” cards.
A young kid of Class 6 made sketch of Dr. Kalam’s book ‘Wings of Fire’ and roamed around the house with the sketch. The family members were stunned looking at the sketch and asked the kid to mail it to the President. The kid, who was hesitant initially, gave into the demands of his family and mailed the sketch to the President. A surprise awaited the kid two days later when he received a letter from the President himself.
The kid opened the prized letter with a lot of excitement and utmost care. The kid took out a small note from the envelope which read, “Dear Naman Narain, Thank you for your nice drawing. With best regards from, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.”
Until today, Naman Narain has kept the card safe as he feels this is one of the most prized possessions of his.
- Kalam was supposed to attend an event as Chief Guest, he surprised the students by visiting them the night before.
Before Dr. Kalam was appointed the 11th President of India, he held a significant post at DRDO and was one of the key advisors to the government. Curious to know how kids were preparing for the big event, Kalam decided to visit the venue and spend some quality time with the students. Dr. Kalam who visited the venue in a jeep talked to the students who were present at the venue. Before leaving he made sure their work was noticed by saying, “I wanted to meet the real hard workers.”
- Kalam’s humility was on display when he obliged to take pictures with his fan even though he was getting late for the event.
Dr. Kalam was invited as the chief guest at an event at IIM Ahmedabad. Prior to the event, Dr. Kalam used the precious time by having lunch with the students of the Institute. At the end of the lunch when the students who were 60 in number, requested Kalam for a picture with each one of them.
The organizers of the event tried to hush off the students by citing they were already late for the event. But to everyone’s surprise, Dr. Kalam said that he would not leave the place until every one of them got a picture with him, making the students very happy and till date the picture with Kalam as one of the most prized picture.
- Kalam refused to sit on a chair that was designated for him – as the chair was larger in size than other chairs.
At a convocation event of IIT Varanasi, Dr. Kalam was invited as the Chief Guest of the program. The stage was decorated with 5 chairs, the center one being for Dr. Kalam, and the rest for the officials of the university. When Dr. Kalam noticed that his chair was bigger in size than that of others, he plainly refused to occupy the chair and offered the Vice Chancellor the chair instead. The VC obviously could not sit on the chair.
The chair was changed immediately and a chair just like the one to be occupied by the officials was made available for the Honorable former President of India.
While these are just a few incidents, they do provide a much-needed sneak peek into the life of Dr. Abdul Kalam and continue to inspire the next generation youth. These incidents also teach the public figures how to conduct themselves even when they are occupying the highest responsibilities in the country.
Read more of his unheard stories here: