APJ Abdul Kalam's simplicity, down-to-earth attitude struck a chord with people

APJ Abdul Kalam
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File photo of social activist S Anuradha receiving the ‘Indomitable Spirit’ book from the former President APJ Abdul Kalam

Highlights

  • Late President APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary on Oct 15 is celebrated as World Students’ Day as he loved students and had a passion for teaching
  • Kalam treated every person around him with respect and it did strike a chord with people who ever met him, says D N Rao, a retired senior administrative officer at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

Visakhapatnam: The 11th President of India, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, dearly known as the country's 'Missile Man', had always let his actions speak.

His simplicity and down-to-earth attitude touched many lives. On the eve of his birth anniversary observed on October 15, those who came across the late President in their lives at some point of time take a nostalgic trip as they share their memorable moments with The Hans India.

Recalling his association with the Bharat Ratna recipient, Hyderabad-based D N Rao, a retired senior administrative officer at Indian Space Research Organisation, says, "As a public relations officer, I used to meet Abdul Kalam while attending the protocol duties along with the senior officials. When he visited Hyderabad, I had an opportunity to receive him. He used to carry a small bag along with him. When I asked him to give me the bag to carry, he immediately responded -- Mr Rao, it's my bag and I should carry it, thank you so much. Such was his simplicity. Abdul Kalam treated every person around him with respect and it did strike a chord with people who ever met him."

For S Anuradha, a social activist in Vizianagaram, it's a dream come true when she met her idol on January 26, 2012, in New Delhi with the help of her husband M A Saleem.

"It was a soul-stirring experience for me when I met Abdul Kalam and discussed various topics that lasted for 30 minutes. Initially, I was so nervous and could not speak much. But he was quick enough to put me at ease enquiring about my children and their studies. As a social activist, he suggested me to extend unconditional help to people. He also presented me with his book 'Indomitable Spirit'. It was the most cherished moment of my life," says Anuradha.

Known to be the most loved President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam's birth anniversary is celebrated as World Students' Day. This is because of his love for students and passion for teaching. For many, his autobiography is a source of inspiration. "Abdul Kalam's autobiography 'Wings of Fire' is still the most sought-after book among the younger kids. Parents pick them up for their children and the book is always in demand," observes Hari Madala, who runs BookMagic Library.

Abdul Kalam made an indelible mark in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), where he was known for his exemplary contributions to the field of aerospace, including developing a prototype of the country's first indigenous hovercraft.

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