APJ Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Rameswaram in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. His full name was Abul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. Born in a fisherman’s house, Kalam’s childhood was spent in extreme deprivation. His favorite subjects were Mathematics and Physics. Kalam sahib was so fond of studies that he used to earn his expenses by selling newspapers at the bus stand.
failed in airforce exam
Abdul Kalam’s dream was to join the Indian Air Force. 8 candidates were to be selected out of 25 who appeared in the recruitment examination. Kalam sahib finished ninth. His dream was broken, but something bigger was written in his destiny. Kalam sahib had to serve the country in some other way. He had to become the gem of the country, so that he could be remembered for years.
Because of his contribution to missile technology, Kalam Sahib (APJ Kalam) was called Missile Man. He contributed greatly to the development of the country’s missile technology.
He studied Aeronautical Science from Madras Engineering College. In 1962, he started a job in the Indian Space Research Organization ie ISRO. Under his guidance, India built its first indigenous satellite launch vehicle, PSAV-3, and in 1980 the first satellite was placed in Rohini space.
He got the name ‘Missile Man’
Kalam sahib did a lot of work on space research and missile technology. At that time, having missiles was considered synonymous with the strength and self-defense of that country. But the powerful countries of the world were not sharing their missile technology with a country like India. The Government of India decided to start its indigenous missile program. The responsibility of Integrated Missile Development Program was entrusted on the shoulders of Kalam Saheb.
Under the leadership of Kalam sahib, India made its mark in the world by making missiles like earth-to-surface medium-range Prithvi missile, surface-to-air Trishul missile, anti-tank Nag. After this Kalam sahib became famous as ‘Missile Man’.
Abdul Kalam was the Scientific Advisor to the Defense Minister from 1992 to 1999. Nuclear test took place in Pokhran under Vajpayee’s government as soon as his scientific advisor. The role of Kalam sahib in this was very special. Due to his achievements, he had received all civilian honors including Bharat Ratna till 1997.
Kalam sahib (APJ Kalam) was very popular as the President. He was such a President, whose simplicity and personality was very much liked by the public.
Turning point came in the life of Kalam Sahab in 2002
The year 2002 proved to be the turning point in his life. In 2002, the then President K. R. Narayanan’s term was coming to an end. At that time the Vajpayee government did not have enough majority to get a President of their choice.
In such a situation, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav put forward Abdul Kalam’s name. This was taken by the Vajpayee government. A difficult situation arose in front of the Congress party. The party could not afford to reject the presidential candidature of a prominent figure from the Muslim community. Left parties also supported Kalam’s candidature. In this way he became the 11th President of the country.
Kalam sahib was the first and only non-political President of the country. Maybe that’s why he got a lot of love from the public. The stories of his simplicity were very popular. He was considered to be the second popular President after Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
Kalam sahib (Apj Kalam) received many honors including Bharat Ratna. He remained active on the last day of his life and kept interacting especially with the students.
childhood dream fulfilled
Even while being the President, he kept simplicity and honesty as the core of his life. When his relatives came to meet him in Rashtrapati Bhavan, he would have paid the rent for his stay from his own pocket. In the very first year of becoming the President, he stopped the Iftar feast in the holy month of Ramadan. It was decided that the budget amount should be used for the charity of orphan children.
Kalam sahib’s dream of becoming a fighter pilot was not fulfilled. But in the year 2006, there was an occasion when he flew 30 minutes as a co-pilot in the country’s most advanced fighter plane Sukhoi-30. Kalam sahib became the first President of the country to sit in a fighter plane.
After completing his five-year term in 2007, Kalam sahib left the post. He died of a heart attack on 27 July 2015 while addressing students in Shillong. Kalam sahib made many important contributions in his life of 83 years. His memories will always remain in the hearts of the countrymen.
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