My teacher inspired me to be unique

My teacher inspired me to be unique

My teacher inspired me to be unique.Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam participated in the golden jubilee celebrations of Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer at Chodavaram village on Sunday.

Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam participated in the golden jubilee celebrations of Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer at Chodavaram village on Sunday. During his visit, Dr Kalam adviced the students to be unique.“One should have a desire to be a unique person in a world where parents and institutions are only striving to make everyone as everybody else,” he said.Dr Kalam recalled his student days in 1941 when he was studying his tenth grade in Rameshwaram Panchayat School in Tamil Nadu. He was inspired by his teacher Siva Subrahmanyan Iyer who taught him to be unique.

Dr Kalam addressing students on Sunday

“My teacher radiated knowledge and the purity of life. He drew pictures of a flying black bird on the blackboard which inspired me to fly and ultimately become an auronautical engineer and a rocket scientist,” Dr Kalam reminisced. He also gave examples of unique people in the world like Thomas Alva Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curi, CV Raman and Sir Timothy. Kalam asked students to become a lamp which radiates light on a lamp post.

“Unique people are those who give light to the society. The opposite of give is 'get'. Corruption starts from the question how to get?” said the former president. Kalam called upon the students to do something that will make people remember them for and said that those students who wished to be unique could mail their plans to him at

Q&A session

Some questions posed by students and the answers of the former president

Sneha: How did you instill confidence in your colleagues when certain Agni missile missions failed?

Dr Kalam: We did experience failures in our mission but my teacher advised me to ‘Be a captain over problems and never make problems my captain’ This lesson paid off and eventually we succeeded. We should never surrender to problems and failure.

Harsha Vardhan: You are an engineer and a scientist by profession. Why did you take to politics?

Dr.Abdul: I do not know if becoming the President of India is equal to becoming a politician. But being the president gave me a platform to instill my vision of taking our country to the pinnacle of glory by 2020. During the period, I could address 50 State Assemblies, Governors Conference and 19.8 million students and impact them for good.

Yashwanth: What suggestions do you have for those who are poor in studies?

Dr Kalam: If I am a teacher and if 20 out of 100 students are poor in studies, I would give special attention to them and reach out to the last of the students who are poor in studies.

G Lalith: You launched 10 Agni projects when you were a rocket scientist and six of them failed while you succeeded in 4.

Dr Kalam: Yes my failures were preceded by success by your own question. As I told you, failure should not be our captain. We should still remain the captain even if we fail and only then we will achieve success. We should never surrender our captaincy to forces of failure.

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