Dr.ABDUL KALAAM -An Inspiration

Dr.Abdul kalam, a highly respected eminent scientist and engineer by profession is popularly known as the “Missile man of India” was an inspiration to millions of youngsters. Here are some of the main facts and a short glimpse of his biography which has inspired many to follow his policies and his route to success.

Basically he was from a financially weak family and to support his academic pursuits and the household expenses he distributed newspapers at a young age. He used to spend leisure hours in reading and reciting Quran and Hindu scriptures like the Bhagvad Gita with equal ease. Writing poetry was one of his fascination. He was a pure vegetarian and always had a desire to be independent. He always believed that knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity.

His friends and teachers were instrumental in sending him to Sheward High School, Ramnad and later for graduation in Physics to St Joseph College, Trichy. As he was an outstanding student, it was not difficult for him to get into the prestigious Madras Institute of Technology for Aeronautical engineering. He was the best outgoing student in the university and they titled him as a “Man of ideas with a great vision”.

After his studies he immediately got an entry in Hindustan Aeronautics limited. Later he joined the Ministry of defence “DRDO and in his long career as a scientist, achieved many milestones. He was recognized for his commendable performance on developing Ballistic missile. Soon later, he joined Vikram sarabai space organisation and subsequently he was offered a senior position in ISRO. He was successful in placing the 35-kg Rohini-I satellite on orbit with help of the SLV-III (Satellite Launch Vehicle). He always says “ Do things yourself. Do not indulge in short cuts by importing equipment”. On appreciation of his great efforts,he was then conferred honorary doctorates by 30 universities worldwide. Later was then invited by NASA in the United States at the Wallops Island Rocketry Centre and the Langley Research Centre to share his expertise.  After which soon he decided to rejoin Defence research organisation. He headed the country's Integrated Missile Development Programme, which culminated in the successful launch of the Agni and Prithvi missiles. His quote after the successful launch of prithvi missile was as follows  "WITHOUT OUR ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT AND DEDICATION , WE MAY NOT SUCCEED BUT WITH OUR INVOLVEMENT AND DEDICATION WE CAN NOT FAIL”

He also extended his scientific knowledge mechanisms to help disabled polio affected children. The invention of a plastic material which weighed just 300 grams reduced their horrible pain of carrying 3kg metal supporters. He is a strong supporter of open source software over proprietary solutions which will bring the benefits of information technology to more people. He has been felicitated with many national awards. The Government of India has honoured him with the nation's highest civilian honours: the  Padma bhushan in 1981; Padma Vibhushan in 1990; and the Bharat ratna ( the highest civilian award in India) in 1997 for his great work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Indian government.

He became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America's highest engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service. Subsequently he developed a “Research Centre Imarat”- An advanced technology research centre. Later he was requested to serve as “PRINCIPAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISER” to the Govt.of India. He retired in this position and served scientific research universities as chief adviser. In 2002, he was invited for the post of PRESIDENT OF INDIA and became the first scientist to be a president of India.

Dr.Kalam believes that there are many more avenues wherein defence technology can be used for a social cause. When enquired about his powers of imagination he explains “God has stored great potential strength and ability within our minds. Prayer helped me to tap and develop these powers”

Dr.Abdul Kalam is a dreamer. He dreamt of a strong India. "We must think and act  like a nation of a billion people." His next goal is to produce and develop a more advanced hypersonic reusable missile. Judging by his  earlier achievements, this invention does not seem a distant possibility for this genius. Whenever there is a goal, the dynamics of performance changes, Technology is the economical strength of the nation", "think big” he says modestly.

 A pre-eminent scientist, a gifted engineer, and a true visionary, he is also a humble humanitarian in every sense of the word.