“Success is when your signature turns into your autograph”
This was the line of that man whose signature we all craved for. That man was none other than late Mr. APJ ABDUL KALAM.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was the full name of Mr. Kalam. Born on October 15, 1931, Mr. Kalam was the 11th president of India. He was born to a Tamil Muslim family in the holy center of Rameswaram. He was not born in a rich family yet he afforded to build his richness; the richness of his kindness and generosity in the hearts of all the people.
His father, Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and Imam of a local mosque and his mother, Ashiamma was a housewife. Kalam was the youngest of four brothers and one sister in his family. His ancestors were rich.
They were wealthy traders and landowners. It involves trading groceries from and to Sri Lanka and thus owned the title, ‘Mara Kalam Iyyakivar’. But due to the construction of Pamban Bridge, their trading suffered and soon their business failed. Kalam, when was a child sold newspapers to contribute to the family income.
“Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person” – Kalam
Kalam, when was a student, always got average marks but was considered to be a bright and hardworking student with an ardent desire to learn. His favourite subject was mathematics. After completing his higher education, he went to Saint Joseph’s College in Tiruchirappalli. From there, he graduated in Physics.
He also studied aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology. After this, Kalam was a part of Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defense Research and Development Services (DRDS), INCOSPAR Committee.
He started his career by designing a small hovercraft. He was also the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV – III). Project Devil and Project Valiant was also helmed by him. His research and educational leadership brought him great recognitions and honour in the 1980’s.
Kalam has been the Chief Scientific Advisor to the prime minister and the Secretary of the DRDO. He has also been the Chief Project Coordinator during Pokhran – II nuclear tests along with Rajagopala Chidambaram. At that time, media announced Kalam as the best nuclear scientist.
He made many missile systems. Some of them are Prithvi Missile System, Agni Missile System, Trishul Missile System, Akash Missile System and Nag Missile System. That’s why, he was also known as ‘THE MISSILE MAN OF INDIA’.
“Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy the success” – Kalam
Religion and spirituality were very important for Kalam. He even wrote a book on this titled, ‘Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji’.
Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam is popular and people’s person as he was the only Indian President who got connected with the people easily. He also brought the lost prestige of the president which people think was only a signatory authority. He knew what the mindset of the people was and how to reconnect them with the politics especially the youth generation.
Kalam has been awarded different awards. He has awarded with Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Bharat Ratna, honour of Doctor of Science, honour of Doctor of Laws, Veer Savarkar Award, and Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. He has been also awarded for Ramanujan Award, King Charles II Medal, Hoover Medal, Distinguished Fellow Award and many more.
There are colleges and universities that are renamed after him. Kerala Technological University was renamed as APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University after his death. In Kollam city, Kerala, there is APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Travancore Institute of Digestive Diseases.
Uttar Pradesh Technical University was also renamed as APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University by U.P. government. An agricultural college at Kishanganj, Bihar was renamed as Dr. Kalam Agricultural College, Kishanganj by Bihar state government on the day of Kalam’s funeral. Wheeler Island, a national missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island in September, 2015.
Kalam died on July 27, 2015 at the age of 83 in Shillong, Meghalaya. The cause of his death was cardiac arrest. Although, he is not with us, but his teachings, ideas, innovations, lessons of life will always with us. He was the only scientist and president who was loved by all and especially by the children.
“Don’t read success stories, you will only get a message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success” – Kalam
Reading his story will only bring inspiration and knowledge to us!