World Students’ Day is marked on A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s birthday, 15 October. In 2010 the United Nations declared 15 October “World Students’ Day”
He was an Indian aerospace scientist who served as the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007
APJ Abdul Kalam, (1931-2015) was born in a Southern Indian state Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram, Kalam studied physics and aerospace engineering and came to be known for his contribution to the world of science and humanity.
News Paper Vendor
At the age of five, Kalam started selling newspapers to help his father support the family. He did this job in the evenings after school. He used to collect newspapers thrown out of the Dhanush Kodi Mail train and become the first one to distribute them to the town of Rameswaram.
Failed to become Fighter
For former President APJ Abdul Kalam, becoming a fighter pilot was a “dearest dream” — one that he failed to realise by a whisker. Kalam bagged the ninth position among 25 candidates and was not recruited, since only eight slots were available.
Indian Aerospace Scientist
APJ Abdul Kalam spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts.
Indian Missile Man
APJ Abdul Kalam is known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology and played an important organisational, technical, role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
11th President of India
Kalam served as the 11th president of India, from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.
After leaving office, Kalam became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Management Indore; an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram; professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University; and an adjunct at many other academic and research institutions across India. He taught information technology at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and technology at Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.
Kalam was noted for his integrity and his simple lifestyle. He never owned a television and was in the habit of rising at 6:30 or 7 a.m. and sleeping by 2 a.m. His few personal possessions included his books, his veena, some articles of clothing, a CD player and a laptop; at his death, he left no will, and his possessions went to his eldest brother, who survived him.
Dr Kalam donated his entire salary to a trust, PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas), that he had founded. He said that the government would take care of him till his last breath as he became the President of India, so there was no harm in donating his full salary.
His Special Guests
After being elected as the President of India, Dr Kalam was invited to an event at Kerala’s Raj Bhavan. He was allowed to invite any two people as his special guests to the event. He invited a cobbler, who sew people’s shoes on the pavement, and a hotel owner, who ran a small hotel in Kerala. They were both close to him during the time he spent in Thiruvananthapuram
A proud and practising Muslim, His father, the imam of a mosque in his hometown of Rameswaram, had strictly instilled these Islamic customs in his children. Moreover, Kalam believed that “respect for other faiths” was one of the key cornerstones of Islam, he was fond of saying: “For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.”
APJ Abdul Kalam Death
On 27 July 2015, Kalam travelled to Shillong to deliver a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong. Only five minutes into his lecture, he collapsed. He was rushed to the nearby hospital in a critical condition; Despite being placed in the intensive care unit, Kalam was confirmed dead of a sudden cardiac arrest.
His last words, to his aide Srijan Pal Singh, were reported: “Funny guy! Are you doing well?
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