“A developed India by 2020, or even earlier is not a dream. It need not even be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up – and succeed”. said A.P.Jain. Abdul Kalam. Dr. Avul Pakir jain ul Abdeen Abdul Kalam is India’s eleventh President. Earlier India had Dr. S. Radhakrishnan a philosopher as her President. In 2002, India elected a defence scientist as her president and it is Abdul Kalam.
Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 at Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to a little educated boat owner. Kalam had his higher secondary education at schwartz high school, Ramanathapuram. His father was an inspiration to him. STR Manickam, a militant nationalist encouraged him to read all he could. He kept his personal library open to Kalam. Another person who greatly influenced Kalam’s boyhood was Samsuddin, his cousin.
Kalam studied engineering and specialized Aero Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology, His work on the SLV III, India’s first Satellite Launch vehicle, and the Guided Missile Programme made him India’s most honoured scientist and provided the foundation for the design and development of high technology aerospace projects. Abdul Kalarn is better known as the father of Missiles. The story of Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and Nag-missiles have become household names in India. These missiles have raised the nation to the level of a missile power of international reckoning. Dr. Kalam believes in the use of technology as a tool for national development.
Dr. Kalam is the recipient of numerous awards including Dr. Biren Roy Space award and the Om Prakash Bhasin award among others. He is also the recipient of the country’s three highest civilian honours:
The Padma Bhushan in 1981, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990, and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. He was the scientific adviser to the defense minister and secretary, department of defence and research and development. He is the author of few books that includes India 2020 and Wings of fire, his autobiography.
Kalam works 18 hours a day- and practices Veena. He writes poems. He loves children and intends to spend his time amidst them answering their questions. Once Kalam spoke on the role of technology in shaping a modern India. After his speech a ten year old girl came up to him for his autograph.- ‘What is your ambition?’ Kalam asked her. ‘I would like to live in a developed India’ she replied. Can India become a first world nation within the next 20 years! Dr. Kalam says “Definitely”. He is a ray of hope.