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Missile Man of India: Celebrating A.P.J Abdul Kalam on his 89th Birth Anniversary

Ipshita Bagchi

Birth Anniversary of A.P.J Abdul Kalam

"A dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep”

A.P.J Abdul Kalam was born on the 15th of October in 1931 in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram. He was not only a pioneer in the field of aerospace who made significant contributions to the space science of India, but he was also a dedicated, loving and kind hearted teacher.

Despite leading a life of continuous hardships and struggles, Abdul Kalam was able to excel in his academics as well as his career, eventually acquiring the highest Constitutional post of India. 

Abdul Kalam with children

People’s President: Dr. Abdul Kalam

He won the Indian Presidential Elections of 2002 and was elected as the 11th President of India with the support of BJP as well the INC.

Dr. Kalam is regarded as the most popular and loved President of India. His dedication and commitment towards the overall development of the country and the concern for his people led him to be recognized as the “People’s President”.

Significant contributions

Dr. Kalam worked in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he made multiple advancements:

  • The Nuclear weapons tests under the supervision of Dr. Kalam from 1992-19990 put India on the map as a Nuclear power.
  • He is credited with the development, management and operationalization of the “Indigenous Guided Missiles”, AGNI and PRITHVI.
  • He worked as the project director for the development of the Satellite Launch Vehicle at ISRO for 10 years.
  • Keeping in mind the development of ballistic missiles, Dr. Kalam headed the projects Devil and Valiant.
Missile: AGNI V

Recognition, awards and honors received by Dr. Kalam

Abdul Kalam was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his exemplary work in the ISRO and DRDO and for his active role as the scientific advisor to the Government of India.

He was later honored and awarded with the highest civilian honor of India, the Bharat Ratna because of his major contributions that led to India’s development in the field of science.

Abdul Kalam receiving Bharat Ratna

He was further ranked #2  in Outlook India's poll of the Greatest Indian in 2012.  

Due to his excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related project he was awarded the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society.

Following his demise, the state government of Tamil Nadu declared that the 15th of October would be observed as "Youth Renaissance Day across the state. The state government further instituted the "Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Award” which would annually be awarded on the 15th of August to the residents of the state who were involved in the promotion of scientific growth and  welfare of students.

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory named a newly discovered bacterium “Solibacillus kalamii”  to honor Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Tribute to Abdul Kalam on his 89th birth anniversary

Earlier today, prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay a heartfelt tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

He says in the video tribute,

“Dr. Abdul Kalam is the prime example of what a person can achieve in their life”. 

He had the presence of mind to take the wheel of his life in his hands and adjust his life according to the requirement.  He further praised and remembered him for his passion towards children by quoting him that “If someone were to remember me, they should as a teacher”.

He talks about the beauty of his life and how even in his last moments, Dr. Kalam was in the presence of  his students. 

Abdul Kalam and Modi Ji

Union Home Minister, Amit Shah also paid a tribute to A.P.J Abdul Kalam on Twitter as he remembered him as “a visionary leader and architect of India's space and missile programmes.”

Revanth Reddy, Condgress leader posted on Twitter with the hashtag, #MissileManofIndia, praising Kalam as an inspiration to everyone.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam continues to be an inspiration and role model for all.

It has been 5 years since his demise, however his teachings, contributions and his warmly presence lives on in our hearts. 

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