Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam who we used to call as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, was the 11th President of India serving 2002 to 2007. Due to his working style he is popularly known as the People;s President. Before his term as president he distinguished himself as engineering visionary and was awarded India’s highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna in 1997 for his work with DRDO and for his role as a scientific advisor to the Indian Government. He loves children and spends a lot of time with them. He is popularly known as a Missile Man of India. When APJ Abdul Kalam’s name was nominated people wondered will a scientist could take the responsibility of the President of India. While Congress, SP, RJD, and AIADMK supported communists named their candidate Captain Maxmi Saigal of Azad Hidna Fauz against him only to be defeated by large margin and Kalam won with 90% vote and became President of India on 25th July, 2002.
Family Background and Personal life
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam who we used to call as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October, 1931 in Tikundi of Dhanushkodi in the district of Rameswharam. His father was Jainaluddin and mother Ashiamma.
Kalam had seven siblings, and his mother at times made chappatis for Kalam, while the others got rice as Kalam’s day would start at 4 am and end at 11 pm. As his father was not educated he wanted Kalam to study. Kalam would get up at 4 am and have bath and then go to mathematics class, the mathematics teacher used to teach only 5 students in the whole session and bathing before the class was the condition he laid to the students. After the class, Kalam along with his cousin Samsuddin went around disturbing newspaper.
The town had no electricity, kerosene lamps were lit at his home between 7 pm to 8 pm as Kalam studied till 11 his mother used to save for later use. The house where Kalam was born can still be found on the masque street. This has become a point for all tourist who seek out the place.
“India’s beloved scientist and ex-president Dr. Ap.J Abdul Kalam’s house you can read “HOUSE OF KALAM” on the grill door.”
|HOUSE OF KALAM|
|Mosqu where kalam and his family use to offer their prayers|
|The simple surroundings of Schwartz High School, Ramanathapuram|
|Hover Craft Kalam with Krishna Menon|
|Kalam with senior Scientists|
|Teachers at Schwartz High School.Iyadurai Solomon (standing, left) and Ramakrishna|
Kalam had primary education in Rameshwaram Elementary School. At the age of 15 he joined the Schwartz High School n Ramandapuram. The teachers of Schwartz High School were very gentle and encouraged him to do very special. Kalam one of the favorite student of Mr. Solomon, who often used tell students not to get disappointed at failures and said they must learn a lesson from a mistakes and failure. Kalam after completing his high school education at the Schwartz High School and got admission in St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli and graduated in science in 1950 at the age of 19 years.
During this time in St.Joseph College, he shared room with two other students from different religious backgrounds. In spite of coming from different religious background they were cooperative and helpful to each other. Kalam spent 4 years at St.Joseph’s College for four years. During this period he came very close to the revered Father T.N. Sequeira, Who used to teach English, it was because of him Kalam began to like English literature and started reading Tolstoy, Scott, Milton, Hardly and so on. Kalam even wrote poems in Tamil and English.
|Kala as a Student|
Kalaam’s Poems during Student Life:
Sea waves, golden sand pilgrims’ faith,
Rameswaram Mosque Street, all merge into one,
You come to me like heaven’s caring arms.
I remember the war days when life was challenge and toil-
Miles to walk, hours before sunrise,
Walking to take lessons from the saintly teacher near the temple.
Again miles to the Arab teaching school,
Climb sandy hills to Railway Station Road,
Collect, distribute newspapers to temple city citizens,
Few hours after sunrise, going to school.
Evening, business time before study at night.
All this pain of a young boy,
My mother you transformed into pious strength
With kneeling and bowing five times
For the Grace of the Almighty only, My Mother.
Your strong piety is your children’s strength,
You always shared your best with whoever needed the most,
You always gave, and gave with faith in Him.
I still remember the day when I was ten,
Sleeping on you lap to the envy of m elder brothers and sisters
It was full moon night, my world you knew
When at midnight I woke with tears falling on my knee
You knew the pain of your child, My Mother.
Your caring hands, tenderly removing the pain
Your love, your care,your faith gave me strength
To face the world without fear and with His strength.
We will meet again on the great judgement Day,My Mother!
After graduating from St. SJoseph’s College, Kalam joined the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT). But all was not so easy to get admission at MIT. He had to have around Rs.1000 rupees for the admission fee into the college and his father was not in a position to pay that much huge amount. This made Kalam feel hopeless and unable to think which way to turn for help. His sister Zohara came to the rescue she mortgaged her bangles and her necklaces and gave the money to Kalam. Zohara had total confidence in his success and said one day her brother would be a great man and that she was proved right. Kalam was thankful to his sister for her timely assistance and promised to pay off the debt and get all the bangles and necklaces back with his own earnings one day.
He had most appropriate practical educational MIT; this is where he could cherish his dream to fly an aircraft. He was thrilled finding himself standing among planes for the first time. He had strange attraction while watching those aircraft.
Kalam received the most appropriate practical education at the MTS; this was the place where Kalam could fulfill his long cherished dream to fly an aircraft. He was thrilled when he found himself standing among the planes for the first time ever. He always felt a strange attraction while watching those aircraft. As he liked aircraft so much he opted for aeronautical engineering as his major subject to study at the MIT.
From MIT he went to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at Bangalore as a Trainee. Kalam received very important practical training here. His first training involve overhaul the engines of the aircraft; it was quite educational and practical knowledge of every part of the engine-cum-drum operations was very important. Received training to check a crankshaft for twist was also very educational.
In 1958, at the age of 27 he joined the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTD&P)as a senior Scientific Assistant. And soon he was posted to the Technical Center (Civil Aviation). Before joining DTD&T he tried to get admission in the Indian Air Force but missed and his dream of flying an aircraft could be able to fulfill and joined DTD&T with a basic salary of Rs.250/- per month.
While in DTD&P he was entrusted to design a supersonic target aircraft model. He worked and sent it to Aircraft and Armament Testing Unit (A&ATU) at Kanpur. Later, he was informed that design of DART target has been accepted. Kalam spent 3 years in DTD&P; during this period Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) was established in Bangalore where Kalam was asked to take up the new assignment to face the real challenges of life.
At Aeronautical Development Establishment a prime task was assigned to design and develop an hovercraft. Team led by Kalam the group of young scientists here terribly lacking in the practical knowledge of how to make this aircraft. The procedure of making confused Kalam’s brain for long time but after great deal of effort finally the young scientist’s team succeeded in building India’s hovercraft that took Defense Minister Krishna Menon and Kalam at the Controls.
Despite the success of the hovercraft the project did not get more recognition. Kalam was sad and disappointed at seeing such a cold reaction from the authorities. Then one day Prof. MGK Menon, Director of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) met Kalam and asked his permission to fly the Hovercraft for which Kalam readily accepted the offer. Later, he invited Kalam to attend an interview by famous personalities like Dr. Vikram Sarabha, Prof. M.G.K Menon, and Mr. Saraf.
After having failed in the SLV-3 launch, Kalam and his team were unhappy for a quite a long time, but did not lose their confidence and began to work on the project with greater zeal. After examining and correcting previous flaws the SLV-3 lifted off in July 18, 1980
Rohini satellite was put into orbit and this was a great success in Indian History.
“Trishul”, surface to air missile with short range was successfully launched in 1985.
“Prithvi” surface to surface battlefield missile, launched in 1988.
”Agni”, an intermediate range ballistic missile, launched during 1990.
Kalam and some other senior scientists thought there is a need for “Guided Missile Development Programme” to defend against enemy invasion. Under Kalam’s leadership a committee was formed which included ZP Marshall, chief of Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad, N.R. Iyer, AK Kapoor an dK. S Venkataraman. Here they conducted different missile launching programs.
Kalam used to say “Unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. In this world, fear has no place. Only strength respects strength”.
“We have not invaded anyone, we have not conquered anyone, and we have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on the. Why? Because, I guess, we respected the freedom of others.”
Kalam before becoming president divided his career in four phases. In the First Phase i.e., from 1963-82 he worked in Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
At Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) and spending some time with aero dynamics and design group he joined satellite launching vehicle team at Thumba. Here he made as Project director of the Mission for SLV-3. He played a crucial role in developing satellite launch vehicle technology and expertise in control, propulsion and aerodynamics. Under his leadership India acquired various kinds of rocket systems. On his first phase Dr. Kalam Wrote “This was my first stage, in which I learnt leadership from three great teachers—Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr. Brahm Prakash. This was the time of learning and acquisition of knowledge for me.”
In his second phase he joined Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in 1982. As a Director of DRDO he was entrusted with Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) under his leadership India has able to develop strategic missiles like:
- Nag (an anti-tank guided missile)
- Prithvi (a surface to surface battlefield missile)
- Akash (a swift, medium - range surface-to-air missile)
- Trishul (a quick-reaction surface – to – air missile)
- Agni (an intermediate range ballistic missile)
During the third phase his participation with India’s mission to become a nuclear weapon state, jointly undertaken by DRDO and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) with the active support of the armed forces. During this phase he, as Chairman of the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), also got involved with the creation of Technology Vision 2020 and the India Millennium Missions (IMM 2020), which is an integrated version of technology vision and India’s security concerns. In November 1999 Dr. Kalam was appointed as Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
APJ Kalam as President of India
APJ Kalam served as President of India, succeeding K R Naryanan. APJ Kalam won the 2002 presidential election with an electoral vote of 922884 against Lakshmi Sahgal 107366. He served as president from 25th July 2002 to 24 July 2007.
On 18th June, Kalam filed his nomination papers in Parliament of India accompanied by Vajpayee and his senior Cabinet colleagues
The polling for the presidential election began on 15th July 2002 in the Parliament and state assemblies with media claiming that the election was a one-sided affair and Kalam’s victory a foregone conclusion. The counting was held on July 18th and Kalam won the president election and became the 11th President of Republic of India. He was also the first scientist and first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapathi Bhawan. At the end of the term on June 20th, 2007 he expressed his willingness to consider a second term in office; however two days later, he decided not to contest the Presidential election again. During the tenure of the president he was affectionately called as “Peoples President”
- Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam’s 79 birthday was recognized as world Student’s Day by United Nations. The honor of receiving Doctorates from 4 Universities goes to Kalam.
- The government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bushan in 1981.
- In 1990 Padma Vibhushan was awarded for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government.
- 1996 Prof Y. Nayudamma Memorial Gold Medal
- 1996 GM Modi award for science
- 1996 HK Firodia Award for Excellence in S&T
- 1997 Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration Government of India
- 1998 Veer Savarkar Award Government of India
- 2000 Ramanujan Award Alwars Research Centre, Chennai
- 2007 Honorary Doctorate of Science University of Wolverhampton, U.K
- 2007 King Charles II Medal Royal Society, U.K
- 2008 Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- 2009 International von Kármán Wings Award California Institute of Technology, U.S.A
- 2009 Hoover Medal ASME Foundation, USA
- 2010 Doctor of Engineering University of Waterloo
- 2011 IEEE Honorary Membership IEEE
- 2011 Doctor of Science by S.Gijarati University
Apart from this he is the recipient of several awards including
- National Design Award
- Dr Biren Roy Space Award
- Om Prakash Bhasin Award
- National Nehru Award
- Vice president of Astronautical Society of India
- Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and Indian Academy of Sciences
- Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers
Books Authored by APJ Abdul Kalam
A section of the best of APJ Abdul Kalams thhought-provoking and inspiring words: Words which will make you reflect, rethink and rejoice along this journey of life
A power packed book, which outlines clearly and cleverly the emotions and passion of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam about India, and the issues and concerns India stands facing.
Dialogues on purpose of life offers answers to many such questions. Structured as dialogues between APJ Kalam and Prof Arun K Tiwari his friend. This book outlines a spiritual approach to life
Children Ask Kalam
Every day, hundreds of children from every nook and corner of the country write to Dr. Kalam asking him questions on a variety of topics. Sharing their concerns President Kalam takes time out to respond to these queries. Children Ask Kalam is unique collection of the communication between Dr Kalam and children.
Mission India, is intended primarily as a road map for young people. It will also be useful for young entrepreneurs. The facts, figures and tables have largely been taken from India 2020, but have been updated and modified to suit the new readership.
A P J Abdul Kalam
The poem contained in this book bring out Dr. Kalam's deep love for India and her rich culture. Together with his devotion to God and to this Motherland, his devotion to humanity is also uniquely manifested in thess poems. Beleiving his ability and acheivements to be God's gifts, he has dedicated them to the welfare of the Indian people. Through the medium of his poetry he has send a message of selfless service, dedication and pure faith.
The Luminous Sparks - Some thoughts ...
Poems are the result of peak happiness or sorrow. Common traits of both happiness and sorrow are tears. In one case, tears will be sweet. In another case, it will be salty. Human life is a combination of both.
Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology
It gives us great pleasure to present this volume of papers and essays dedicated to Prof Satish Dhawan, and so to have the opportunity to honour the man who (among other things) founded fluid dynamics research in this country and led the national space programme to its present state of remarkable maturity and sophistication.
Salutation, Harmony, Pursuit Of Happiness, Gratitude, Anguish, Nature God, Message, Who, Clouds, Pride, Ancestor's Desire, Unseen Hands, Rock Walls, Integration, Memory, Tumult, Tears, Poem By John Greenleaf Whitter
I am writing this book to make my young readers hear a voice that says, 'Start moving.' Leadership must lead us to prosperity. Young Indians with constructive ideas should not have to see them wither in the long wait for approval. They have to rise above norms which are meant to keep them timid in the name of safety and to discourage entrepreneurship in the name of trade regimes, organizational order and group behaviour. As it is said, Thinking is the capital, Enterprise is the way, and Hard Work is the solution.
Envisioning an Empowered Nation
The Interactions with students and youth from all parts of the country and the series of lectures given to the engineering students of Anna University, and students of other universities, colleges and schools, resulted in evolving this book. Hence the book is dedicated to the youth and the student community of India.
2020- A Vision for the New Millennium
In this book we have attempted to share some of these thoughts. We have also disclosed elements of a few action plans, which can be missions for many young people in the country. We hope that these will help to stimulate young Indians and ignite their minds in the same way that we were ignited by the space programme three decades ago. Our vision ahead for the country and the missions we see before us make us feel young even now.
A developed India, by 2020 or even earlier is not a dream. It need not even be a mere aspiration in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up-and accomplish.
Wings of Fire
This book is written for the ordinary people of India for whom Dr Kalam has an immense affection, and of whom Dr Kalam is certainly one. He has an intuitive rapport with the humblest and simplest people, an indication of his own simplicity and innate spirituality.
For me, writing this book has been like a pilgrimage. Through Dr Kalam, I was blessed with the revelation that the real joy of living can be found in only one way-in one's communion with an eternal source of hidden knowledge within oneself-which each individual is bidden to seek and find for himself or herself. Many of you may never meet Dr Kalam in person, but I hope you will enjoy his company through this book, and that he will become your spiritual friend.
Prayer for departed children of Kumbakonam, My dear Soldiers, Village Development is key to Nation Development, Rakhi Day is Righteous Day, Guru Prakasham, Soaring Dream
Dream, The Vision, The Vision (Tamil), I am the Indian Ocean, Homage to Carnatic Music Doyen Late M S Subbulakshmi, The Life Treez, Rock Walls, Where are we?, Where are we? (Tamil), Song of Youth, Earth shining in Glory, Phoenix of Life, Neva Speaks, My Garden Smiles, Radiating message from Sree Siddaganga Math
Songs by APJ Abdul Kalam
My National Prayer, Song of Youth, My Song, Glory to Chhattisgarh
- “Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.”
- “Thinking is progress. Non-thinking is stagnation of the individual, organisation and the country. Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity.”
- “When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust... Withhold your hands from striking and from taking that which is unlawful and bad...”
- “What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and to remove the wrongs of injured..”
- “Away! Fond thoughts, and vex my soul no more! Work claimed my wakeful nights, my busy days Albeit brought memories of Rameswaram shore Yet haunt my dreaming gaze!”
- “I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness?..”
- “My worthiness is all my doubt His Merit- all my fear- Contrasting which my quality Does however appear “
And Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam will always remembers who influenced his life from a normal paper boy to President of India (fondly called as “Peoples President”)
These are words that came from APJ Abdul Kalam’s Heart….
Professor Sponder taught me technical aerodynamics. He was an Austrian with a great deal of practical experience in aeronautical engineering. Prof. Sponder preserved his individually and maintained high professional standards.
Professor KAV Pandalai taught me aero structure design and analysis. He was a cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic teacher, who brought a fresh approach to every year’s teaching course. It was Professor Pandalai who opened up the secrets of structural engineering to us. Even today I believe that everyone who has been taught by Professor Pandalai would agree that he was a man of great intellectual integrity and scholarship-but with no trace of arrogance.
Professor Narsingha Rao was a mathematician, who taught us theoretical aerodynamics. I still remember his method of teaching fluid dynamics. After attending his classes, I began to prefer mathematical physics to any other subject.
APJ Abdul Kalam Speaks :
In an exclusive interview with Wharton Kalam speaks about Creativity. Let’s read from his own words He said he made millions children to repeat the poem. “Learning is creativity, Creativity leads to thinking, and Thinking provides Knowledge,
“We started an Integrated Guided Missile Development Program which was succeeded , here I learnt the important things in the program both in space and missile program, we should not only know how to handle success but, we should know how to handle failures, because I want young people should know how to handle failures”
“Any task you do you have to come across problems, problems should not become captain of the individual or project chief, but the project chief should become the captain of the problem, defeat the problem and succeed.
A Vision for the New Millennium, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam says, “A developed India by 2020, or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up - and succeed"
Lead India 2020 Foundation is a non-profit, non-political, intellectual organization. The 1st National Movement for independence was started with the call Quit India made by Gandhiji. Lead India 2020 has been declared as “The 2nd National Movement”, igniting passion in children and youth to lead India to lead the world by 2020
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- Developing change agents as critical mass leaders to transform villages/communities with specific periodic action plans.
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