- Abdul Kalam was Tamil Nadu’s gift to the world of science. If not for Abdul Kalam, the milestones India has crossed so far in Space Research would have taken a lot more time to achieve. He toiled along with Vikram Sarabhai to put India on the tracks of scientific progress.
- He came from a family that once enjoyed a rich lifestyle. His family had 5 sons and 5 daughters and a few relatives. He used to say, “ At any given point of time, there would be at least 3 cradles rocking to and fro. I grew up in such a set up”. His father was a fisherman and they had to run the family with whatever meagre amount he earned. But his mother was determined to make him well-educated. She would wake him up at 4 am and send him off to math classes. His days started with the classes at the house of Swamiyar, his math teacher.
- Behind every great person, there is a person who spent sleepless nights, and kept them going even when everything else fails. For Abdul Kalam, it was his mother who motivated him endlessly to achieve more. He thanks her for believing in him and building his confidence. He used to say that she used to do namaz 5 times a day, and every time he saw her praying, she would look like an angel God had sent.
- When anyone thinks of a scientist, the general idea would be that he or she would have scored straight A’s throughout their academic phase. That was not the case with Abdul Kalam. His scores were average but the hunger to learn more and achieve kept burning in him. He refused to give up on his dream even in pressing circumstances. This drive and determination is what made us admire him and be inspired by him. His peers who scored the prime ranks went on to work for other people’s dreams, while he patiently sat carving his own dream. When his peers aspired for a richer lifestyle, Abdul Kalam aspired for greatness. His life illustrates that education is more than grades and that learning is more than memorising theories put forth by others. This is why he will always be an inspiration for youngsters all over the world.
- Trichy St. Joseph college holds a special role in moulding Abdul Kalam’s career. It is here that he established himself as one in a thousand. His academic pursuit and his determination did not go unnoticed by his teachers.
- He held a high respect for his teachers. His speeches are never complete without his mention of thanks to all his teachers, from his Primary school teacher Muthu to MIT professor Srinivasan. When interacting with students, he always emphasized on the importance of respecting their teachers. In 2001, he joined Anna University as a guest lecturer. Even after his Presidential term, he went on to inspire students as a professor. This act of his garnered much praise and respect from all sections of the society.
- In 2002, he became the 11th President of India and served the nation in such power till 2007. Despite living in the palatial building of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, he did not indulge in a posh lifestyle. He upheld his simple way of life throughout his term as a president and even after that. It was only during his term that Rashtrapathi Bhavan was opened for public viewing.
- He is and will always be fondly remembered for inspiring students to dream high.