First Death Anniversary: Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam The Man Who Touched The Soul Of India

A life size statue of Dr. A.P.J Kalam was unveiled at Peikarumbu, his burial site in Rameswaram Island, just few hours back.
Yes, today is the first death anniversary of our former President Dr. A.P.J Kalam. A man who touched the hearts of each Indian unlike any other president. No doubt he was known as the ‘people’s president’. Today, after one year of his death, people still mourn and miss this great man. It’s not just a day when our leaders pay tribute to our ex-president, but a day when each one of us remember his words, teachings and thoughts. Let’s take a moment to remember and bow our heads with respect for a man who was one of a kind… Dr. Kalam.
1. His thought: Be brave, no matter what
Dr. Kalam once said ‘life is always not fair’ but every person needs to be brave and bow down according to the situation. Born to an extremely poor family of a boat owner, Dr. Kalam used to sell newspapers as a child to support his father. Can you image the dedication and hard work it took for him to go from there, to a top scientist to the President of India?

2. Missile Man of India
For Kalam’s valuable work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology, he came to be known as the ‘Missile Man of India’.

3. Dignity and humbleness
He served as India’s 11th President from 2002-2007 and became the most loved and adored politician in India. He inspired thousands of people to work with humbleness and dignity, no matter what your position. He used to have meals with his staff on the floor and that’s the perfect example of dignity a man can have.

4. An author unlike any other
He was not just our President, he was a scientist, writer, inspirational speaker and motivational figure. Wings of Fire and India 2020 were a few of the books written by him. He was known for his inspirational words and knew how to get the message across in the most effective way.

5. Age no bar
Dr. Kalam was nominated for the ‘Youth Icon of the Year’ award by MTV twice, in 2003 and 2006. His age was 73 and 76 respectively at that time. He taught us to be active and keep working till life does not stop. Dr. Kalam maintained his ever youthful spirit till the last breath of his life.

6. Awards
Dr. Kalam was a recipient of Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. He was also a recipient of honorary doctorates from 40 universities.

7. Effect of his words
The autobiography of A.P.J Abdul Kalam, ‘Wings of Fire’ was initially published only in the English language. The book proved to be such an inspiration that it was later translated into 13 languages including French and Chinese.

8. Simple lifestyle
Dr. Kalam used to live a simple lifestyle. He never owned a television, and was in the habit of rising at 6:30 or 7 a.m. and sleeping by 2 a.m. His few personal possessions included his books, his veena, some articles of clothing, a CD player and a laptop.

9. Religious values
Dr. Kalam was a proud and a practicing Muslim, whose daily routine started with a namaz. Fasting during Ramadan was an integral part of Dr. Kalam’s life. Dr. Kalam believed that respect for other faiths” was one of the key cornerstones of Islam and he was fond of saying: “For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.”

10. Island named after AJP Abdul Kalam
There was an island named after AJP Abdul Kalam. Wheeler Island, a national missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island on September 2015. He is truly an inspiration.
When asked about his death he said, “When I am dead, don’t declare a holiday. Instead, WORK A DAY EXTRA”.

Author: Rima Chowdhury

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