He ignited minds, touched several lives

Though Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is not alive today, his words will continue to inspire people for generations to come. India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s disarming smile, positive demeanor and modesty were what earned him the title of People’s President.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam always expressed his wish to be remembered as a teacher by the people. October 15, which is Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary, is celebrated as a day for students all around the world. It was in 2010 when the United Nations (UN) decided to mark the importance of India’s former President and great scientist APJ Abdul Kalam and declared his birthday as ‘World Students Day.’

He worked with (DRDO) Defense Research and Development Organization and (ISRO) Indian Space Research Organization as an aerospace engineer before becoming the President of India. By profession he was a scientist and an administrator in India. Bharat Ratna Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, was the 11th President of India (2002-2007).

It is extremely difficult for Indian children not born to the privileged to fulfil their potential and make a mark in life, Given our societal attitudes and lack of access to quality education. The story of his remarkable life is known to every Indian schoolchild. Dr Kalam achieved outstanding success from humble beginnings.

It is this consistent articulation of individual growth with public good that has left an enduring impact on most Indians, particularly students and youth. He always linked individual aspirations with national greatness. He kept urging young Indians to break out of the tradition and shackles of poverty, to dream big and to work hard to fulfil their aspirations. Millions in India saw in Kalam the hope of fulfilling aspirations and achieving eminence in their chosen field.

Here are some amazing things that made Dr Kalam an extraordinary man. Known as the Father of Indian Missile Technology, he played a prominent role in India’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests. He sold newspapers to support his family financially when he was a kid. He came from a humble background. He was born on October 15, 1931.

He was a scientist, writer, inspirational speaker and motivational figure. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was much more than a political figure. He was called the “Missile Man” of India. Even politics! Before becoming the President, he worked as an Aerospace Engineer with DRDO and ISRO. He brought dignity to whatever he did.

In 1998, he along with cardiologist Dr Soma Raju developed a low-cost coronary stent. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had received several awards and recognition for his extraordinary contribution to scientific research and modernization of defense technology in India. His age was 73 and 76 respectively then. In 2003 and 2006, Kalam was nominated for Youth Icon of the Year award by MTV. His infectious personality had not just inspired Indians but also people across the globe.

He loved students and died doing what he loved the most: spending time with students and being among them. He was also a Veena exponent. Kalam wrote 15 books in total, out of which the most read and widely published works of his writings are Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds and Vision 2020. He was a great inspiration to many, especially kids, and always inspired them to dream big and achieve great goals in life. He asked all luxurious rooms to be locked up as he didn’t want to use them, When Dr Kalam first moved to Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Thus he spake
From bunking classes to his take on failure, here are some quotes from him to live your life by.

On hard work
If you want to shine like a sun, first burns like a sun.

On memories
Sometimes it’s better to bunk a class and enjoy with friends, because today when I look back, marks never make me laugh, memories do.

On equal opportunity
All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us have equal opportunity to develop our talent.

On failure
If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L means “First Attempt in Learning”. Read stories of failure and you will get ideas to succeed. Don’t read success stories, you will only get a message.

On work ethic
If you salute your work, you don’t have to salute anybody. But if you pollute your work, you will have to salute everybody.

On habits
You cannot change your future, but you can surely change your habits. And surely, your habits can change your future.

On dreams
Dreams are not what you see in sleep. They are the things that do not let you sleep.