New Delhi: A year ago, on this day, the missile man of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam collapsed while giving lecture to the students at IIM Shillong. Little did we know that it would be the last lecture of his life! The nation lost one of the most visionary leaders who inspired us all. While the elder generation would see him as a great politician, the youth saw him as an affable man whom they could connect with.
Kalam was a ‘common’ man with exceptional futuristic ideas and he would never forget that he was one among us.
On the occasion of first death anniversary of the former president, we share with you some ‘special’ snippets that made him the legend that the world is going to remember forever.
Jainulabudeen, Kalam’s father, was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque. His ancestors were wealthy but due to business failures, the family fortunes were lost and the former president was forced to do odd jobs. He used to sell newspapers to support his family.
Kalam was the proud recipient of honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
The person who was always in news never owned a television.
One day, a subordinate of Dr Kalam at DRDO had work pressure and could not take his children to an exhibition and that’s when the humble Kalam surprised him and took the children out for the event.
Dr Kalam invited a road-side cobbler--who was quite close to him as the ‘Presidential Guest’ to Kerala’s Raj Bhawan.
Dr Kalam dedicated his book ‘Ignited Minds’ to a Class 12 girl, Snehal Thakkar, who had impressed him with her response on poverty. He also invited her personally for the swearing in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan when he took over as the President of India on July 25, 2002.