APJ Abdul Kalam continues to serve as a model of inspiration for the rural youth
“Today is his birthday. He has done a lot for our country which is why our nation can compete at an international level. It is through him, that our nation became missile-equipped,” says Neeraj Yadav, a youth from Chattarpur wishing the eminent personality on World Student’s Day on the 15th of October, 2019.
Born in 1931 at Dhanushkodi, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India from 2002-2207. Known as the Missile Man of India, he did impressive work during his tenure at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as an aerospace engineer.
An inspiration to young people across the nation, several youth expressed their appreciation and love for an individual who worked wonders for India’s development. Satyam Tiwari, a young man from Chattarpur says, “ His views are motivating as the Missile Man. He believed that all religions are equal and treated them with the same respect. This is why he serves as such an inspiration, making India capable to compete at an international level.”
To honour his legacy, the United Nations declared Dr Kalam’s birthday as World Students Day in 2010. “He was a very good human being and did a lot for the people of this nation,” exclaimes Neetu Prasad, another youth from Chattarpur. An aerospace engineer, Kalam came to be known as the Missile Man for his revolutionary work on nuclear power – the Pokhran-2 tests which was a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions launched by India in 1998. This particular contribution seems to be the largest motivator for the rural youth. Garima Anurag, our respondent highlights a significant contribution, “He made India militarily independent, where she could protect herself with her own weapons instead of importing it from other countries.”
Kalam was awarded prestigious titles such as the Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990). Vedprakash Dubey, from Ayodhya expressed his appreciation, “ Dr Kalam was born into a very poor family and did his initial education from a village school. Infact he funded all of his education by selling newspapers at the railway station. In 1962, he provided his services at ISRO and launched the missile program.” Dr Kalam was also awarded the Bharat Ratna ,the highest-civilian award, for his contributions to research in the field of science
A big believer in religious harmony and a Muslim himself, Kalam fought for Hindu-Muslim unity for the greater part of his life. “He was the 11th Vice President and beleived in Hindu-Muslim unity. He initiated several programmes for the development of the youth,” says Arvind Yadav, a youth respondent.
Written by: Anahita Sahu