Full name: APJ Abdul Kalam
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Ramnad, Madras, India
Died: July 27, 2015
Death Place: Shillong, India
Education: Madras Institute of Technology
Occupation: Scientist, President
Years active: 2002-2007
Height: 5 feet 6 inches (1.69 m)
Spouse (s): Not Married
Zodiac sign: Libra
APJ Abdul Kalam is an Indian politician and scientist who took place the India in highest position among the South Asian countries by inventing nuclear bombs. He comes from a humble background where his father was a boatman. Following his great achievement in the field of science, he concentrated on politics and became the 11th president of one of the largest countries in the world.
Abdul Kalam Early Life:
Born Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam on October 15, 1931, in Rameswaram, Ramnad, Madras Presidency, British India. He was the youngest of five children born to Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma. His father was a boatman and his mother was a housewife. Kalam worked as a paperboy to support his family in early childhood.
In his school days, he was not so brilliant student and had average grades. It is an example that anyone can do better by hardworking so Kalam achieved a brighter career in life later. Kalam spent hours on his studies, especially on mathematics.
He went to Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, and an affiliated college of Madras University after completing his education at Schwartz Higher Secondary School. In 1954, he completed graduation in Physics from the institute. Following the year, he moved to Madras to study aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology.
He was working on a senior class project at MIT, and the dean was dissatisfied with his work progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless his work was finished within the next three days. By working hard he met the deadline.
Later the dean said to him, ‘’I was putting you under pressure by forcing you to meet the difficult deadline’’. He failed in an exam to become a fighter pilot, he placed in ninth qualifiers, and only eight got the chance.
Abdul Kalam Career:
APJ Abdul Kalam kicked off his career journey as a scientist, although previously he worked as a paperboy, writer in a newspaper, etc. He was a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS). In 1964, he visited NASA’s Langley Research Center. Project Devil and Valiant, directed by Kalam successfully developed ballistic missiles.
He was the director of India’s first native rocket program and became part of the successful launch of SLV3 ROHINI-one of India’s great achievements. Kalam was the mastermind behind the first nuclear bomb- the Pokhran test caused India to gain recognition alongside other military giants. Then he became a part of the launch of PRAMOD ROCKET.
Abdul Kalam Presidency:
Abdul Kalam was elected India’s 11th president, succeeding K.R.Narayanan. He won 2002 the presidential election getting 9, 22,884 electoral votes. Kalam invited his 50 relatives to come to Delhi and stayed at the President’s House.
But he ensured the expenses incurred by his relatives during their living were paid back to the government, which no other president has done. His relatives still belong to the middle class which is proof of his honesty.
He never rejected any gifts so as to not disappoint the gift giver, who later handed them over to the museum. Being a Muslim president, he never gave an Iftar Party; instead, he asked his cabinet to donate his salary and the budget allocated to the orphanages. Kalam never failed to send a part of his salary back home, until his death. He never used government funds for personal purposes.
Kalam never took any vacations, instead, he used his free time with the Indian army and students. Even after his retirement from ISRO and other work, he spent his time with students. He wanted India to be a developed nation by 2020, and to follow the dream of India 2020, he motivated cores of youngsters.
His former driver is a history professor at a college now. Kalam continues to inspire people through his quotes and books, which are sold and quoted by millions. He dedicated his whole life to the nation. Born in the south, Galvanized in the west, lead India from the north, and left the US from the east.
Abdul Kalam leads a simple life, even though he never owned a television. He had a habit of rising at 6:30 to 7:00 a.m and sleeping by 2 a.m. He left no will and few personal possession including books, veena, some clothing, and a CD player. He didn’t marry due to the intention of serving the people. Kalam died on July 27, 2015, in Shillong, India during delivering a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth”.
The entire nation, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari irrespective of language, religion, and political affiliation united to mourn for this man.
‘’If you salute your work, you do not have to salute anybody. If you pollute your duty, you have to salute everybody’’. – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam