A.P.J ABDUL KALAM: GREAT SCIENTIST, PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT
Alpha Amirrachman, Contributor,
"Please wait, you are next, right? You are good people!" eminent scientist and former Indian president Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam reminds reporters, while giving the thumbs-up sign.
Kalam was in
Evidently he had overcome any residual jetlag from his long flight from
Known as a visionary leader for
"If we are not free, no one will respect us," he once said.
Kalam, who was widely referred to as the "People's President" in
Kalam said of his third vision: "I believe that unless
He is confident of
Many consider Kalam's work on
Kalam said an elementary school teacher's drawing of a flock of seagulls had sparked his obsession with flight, which eventually led to his involvement in the development of
After graduating in science from
Kalam joined the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 1962, and between 1963 and 1982 participated in the satellite launch vehicle team at Thumba next to Trivandram.
He later became project director for SLV-3, where he supervised the launch of the Rohini satellite into orbit in July 1980.
Returning to the DRDO as its chief executive the following year, he was responsible for
Kalam later became scientific advisor to the defence minister and secretary of the Department of Defense Research & Development from 1992 to 1999, and was honored with the Bahart Ratna,
Also during his presidency he invented a development system called Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA), which involves creating a well-balanced habitat that displays great bio-diversity and greenery.
When asked about one of his milestones, he cited his experience in the DRDO, when the very light material he and his team had produced was also utilized to make calipers, which weighed only 300 grams and were used for helping children with disabilities.
Kalam is a source of inspiration for many Indian youngsters, saying they are "the most powerful resource on the earth, under the earth and above the earth".
He said he was eager to share his experiences with
Kalam who recites passages from both the Koran and the Bhagvad Gita daily, once won a poll conducted by news channel CNN-IBN for