Superheros are not born - they are made!

"Missile Man Of India: A Man in Centuries!"

Dear Readers,
All of you fall into a situation of 'If' many times in your life. This 'If' leads many to failures. But it is not necessary that 'If' will lead to failure always, 'If' can lead you to success also. And this difference between failure or success due to 'If' depends only on your approach on how do you take this 'If' in your life. Being students you fail many times in the examination and you feel that you could not do because you do not get time to study, your surroundings are not supportive, If you could have a better primary education you could crack the exams easily right now, If you had good financial condition then you could do many a things and many more 'If's' come in life. But speaking is easy and doing is difficult. And those who take this 'If' positively and work for it become finally successful. Every successful person has many 'If's' in their life. So, we are starting this "If..? - that creates winners" series. Today we will discuss the same by taking the example of great "Missile Man Of India".............Yes! You are right! It's "'APJ Abdul Kalam". 

Little did Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma know that their son would grow up to be the first citizen of India. An Indian scientist and administrator, Kalam served as the 11th President of India from 2002 until 2007. One amongst the most respected people of the country, Kalam contributed immensely both as a scientist and as a president. His contribution at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was immense. He was responsible for numerous projects such as Project Devil and Project Valiant and launch of the Rohini-1, besides developing missiles under the missions Agni and Prithvi. For the same, he was popularly tagged as the “Missile Man of India”. Kalam was honored with great laurels and awards for his work by both the Government of India and other countries. After completing his term as President, Kalam served as a visiting professor in various esteemed institutes and universities of India.

But, as usual, Superstars are not born, they are made!

Abdul Kalam was born as the youngest of five children of a Muslim boat owner named Jainulabudeen and his wife Ashiamma, in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. His ancestors had once been wealthy traders though his family lost much of its fortunes by the early 20th century. Kalam grew up in humble surroundings and had to take up a job while he was still in school in order to augment his family's meager income he distributed newspapers to help his father in providing for the family. He was a bright young boy, blessed with a thirst for knowledge and was always eager to learn new things. He completed his schooling from Ramanathapuram Schwartz Matriculation School and proceeded to study physics at the Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, from where he graduated in 1954. But not satisfied with his degree, he left for Madras later next year to study aerospace engineering. He enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) and graduated in 1960. His childhood ambition was to become a fighter pilot but he narrowly missed achieving his dream.

Childhood of Sir Kalam was passed in so much scarcity and struggle that whenever he talked about his childhood even when he was old, tears apparently appeared in his eyes...the one with deep sense could see those precious droplets.

We people damn our scarcities and damn our family background if we are born in comparatively poor families. We think like 'If we were born in a rich family then...........' But a the Son of a Boat Owner and the boy who served as a Newspaper Hawker in his Childhood becomes the '1st Citizen of the Country' and achieves the title 'Missile Man of India'!

Now, isn't a matter of shame when we criticize our surrounding and family background for scarcities? THINK AND ANALYSE!

After graduating from MIT, Kalam took up the position of chief scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). However, the profile didn’t appeal Kalam much who shifted to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle. His years at the ISRO were the most crucial ones, as they left a lasting impact on him. 

Kalam led many projects and turned out to be successful each time. Kalam was the Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (I.G.M.D.P) which researched in simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one by one. From 1992 until 1999, Kalam was appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research and Development Organisation. It was during this time that Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator for Pokhran II nuclear tests, after which he was fondly called the “Missile Man of India”. But being meritorious and hardworking does not mean that he was a boring person, he too had fun...but in right direction.

Kalam succeeded K. R. Narayanan to serve as the 11th President of India from 2002 until 2007. Kalam became the first scientist and first ever bachelor to occupy the Rastrapati Bhawan.

During his tenure as a President, Kalam was both appreciated and criticised. The latter was mostly due to his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 mercy petitioners.
In addition to all the profiles that Dr Kalam held, he authored numerous influential and inspirational books. He had a keen interest in literature and wrote poems in his native Tamil. A practicing Muslim, he was also well versed with Hindu traditions and read the Bhagavad Gita. 

Here he creates the difference. We all respect everyone's religion by mouth, but the real respect comes from our deeds. He taught that we are Human Being and not a Black or a White, not a Hindu or a Muslim, not a North Indian or a South Indian, not a East Indian or a West Indian. 

We are one - the HUMAN BEING! 

This is the lesson you all should learn. Learn not to be just a PO, to be just a Clerk, to be just a OFFICER or to be just a CITIZEN. LEARN TO BE A MAN! Learn to be a Man my dear!

Amongst all his books, “India 2020” was the widely read and appreciated one. It forecast an action plan which advocated India turning into a knowledge superpower and as one of the developed nations of the world by the year 2020. His other books include, “Ignited Minds”, “Mission India”, “Inspiring Thoughts” and “The Luminous Sparks”.

In 2011, he launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the “What Can I Give Movement” with the main aim to defeat corruption in India.

He was a person who never grew old and who never RETIRED. Even after completing his term as President, Dr Kalam served as visiting professor in various esteemed institutes and universities of India, such as Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indore. He also served as Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore).

Kalam was the proud recipient of Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna, Veer Savarkar Award, Ramanujan Award,  International von Karman Wings Award, Hoover Medal, received  IEEE Honorary Membership, MTV Youth Icon of the Year award and many more. In 1997, he was honored by the Government of India with the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.

Kalam was the proud recipient of honorary doctorates from 40 universities.

In addition to this, Kalam's 79th birthday was recognised as World Students' Day by United Nations.


"Sky has no limit! you must have Courage!"

End is the part of everyone and everything which is born in this materialistic world. Dr Abdul Kalam passed away at Bethany Hospital, Shillong, Meghalaya, due to heart failure after having collapsed during a lecture at Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. But, he made such an imprint in the world which cannot be washed for centuries. Although he is no more but he will remain in our hearts always!

Salutes to him and may his soul rest in peace.

My Students, now it is an assignment for you to tell what do you learn from his life and decide what you have to do and how you have to do, and what you have to become!

All the Best!

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