"Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action"- one of the inspirational messages given to the children and the youth of our country by the Missile Man of India. He is none other than Dr Abdul Kalam, one of the greatest Indians of all times who made the nation proud with his contribution towards space research as an aerospace scientist. He kept inspiring children to dream and think big in life. In 2002, he became the 11th President of India and his tenure lasted till 2007. APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. We celebrate his birthday as the "World Students’ Day."
Dr Kalam: An Illustrious Life in Science & Technology
Kalam greatly contributed to the missile projects namely 'Agni' and 'Prithvi' launched by India. Thereafter, he came to be known as the Missile Man of India. He was a scientist in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation. In the year 1998, he played a crucial role in the "Pokhran II" nuclear test in the country. It was regarded as the second original nuclear test by India.
Dr Kalam's childhood was very tough as the business run by his family failed and they lost all sources of income. He was born at a poverty-stricken time of his family but managed to overcome all obstacles and worked hard in life to achieve his dream. He used to sell newspapers to support his family at a very early age. Even though he got average grades in school, his teachers remembered him as a hard-working student with an inquisitive mind. He focused greatly on mathematics and then after he grew up, he studied physics and aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology, from where he passed out in the year 1955.
When Kalam was in the third year of his graduation, he was given the assignment to build an aircraft with a few other selected students. In spite of the teacher pressurising him with a hard-core deadline, he completed the project in time and impressed everyone with his creativity. This zeal later drove him to become a fighter pilot; however, he ranked 9th in IAF and there were only 8 positions available at that time. Nevertheless, Kalam was a multi-talented man. He went on to become a scientist, an author, an engineer, a professor, and later, a politician.
One of the must-mention facts about Dr Kalam is that he was the director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle at ISRO. Before he became the 11th President of India, he was the chief scientific advisor to the Prime Minister. He received several prestigious awards and was the third President to be honoured with India's highest civilian award "Bharat Ratna" in the year 1997.
The People’s President
Kalam was a man who greatly contributed to the technological development of India. He proposed the countrywide plan known as Technology Vision 2020. In his plan, he suggested nuclear empowerment, technological innovations, and increasing the productivity of agriculture. His endeavours towards overall upliftment of our country made him known as the "People's President".
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