A.P.J. Abdul Kalam - Part -1

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A Kite woke up a little boy named “Abdul Kalam’’ who became an internationally acclaimed scientist and former President of India. He was born in the island town of Rameshwaram, which is near the eastern tip of Tamilnadu. His mother AshiAmma and father Jainuladin were ideal couples and building boats was their main profession. Kalam started his education in a municipal primary school and met teachers like MutthuAyyar and SubhramaniyamAyyar. One day, He was scientifically teaching how the bird flies but on that day he also injected a dream into Kalam’s life. That led him to go for Physics then Aeronautical Engineering and then became a Rocket Engineer. That is why Kalamused to say that a good teacher gives an action or a goal in the life of students. In his childhood, He was rendering all kinds of help to his family. He was also helping his cousin Mr. Shamsuddin by way of working for him as a newspaper delivery boy. Rameshwaram is a town located on an island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is less than 40km from the Zafnapeninsula. This town is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage center. The presiding deity here is in the form of Linga with the name of Sri Ramnath Swami. It also happens to be one of the tweleveJyotirlingaa.Interestingly, The high priest of Rameshwaram temple named “PakshiLakshmanShastri’’ was a close friend of Abdul Kalam’s father. The two men in their traditional attire would often sit together and discuss spiritual matters. Lakshmanshastri used to teach Kalam about the lessons of ‘The Bhagavad-Gita’. This made Kalam firmly believe that there was a superpower that guides a man and provides relief from sufferings, difficulties, and failures. These teachings had a strong influence on the small boy and made him totally secular in his attitude. Kalam was about six years old when his father embarked on a project of building wooden sail boat to take the pilgrims from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi. Then one day A cyclone bringing the winds of over the 100miles/hour carried away the boat. The Pambanbridge collapsed with the train full of Passenger in it. Kalam had until then seen only the beauty of the sea. Now the uncontrollable energy of nature brought a revolution in him. This episode had a strong influence all through his childhood and carried through to his life. Kalam always believed that A leader should have at least these six traits which are given below:- 1. A leader must have ambition. 2. A leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path. 3. A leader must know how to manage success! 4. A leader must have the courage to take decisions. 5. A leader should have nobility in management. 6. A leader should work and succeed with integrity. At the age of 15, Kalam joined Schwartz Higher Secondary School in Ramanathapuram. Here,Ayyadurai Solomon was a great teacher who raised the self esteem of Kalam. His science teacher ShivShubramanyamAyyar had also a great influence on him. Tirucuchirappali situated on the banks of river Kaveri is the fourth largest city in Tamilnadu. In 1950, Kalam joined ST. Joseph’s College of Trichi for his intermediate exam. The reverent father used to give lectures on personalities such as Lord Buddha, Confuscious, St. Augustine, Khalifa Omar, Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, and so many great people. According to Dr. R. Rajarathinam (Principal of that college) ‘India has got a new outlook on all the lines after his presidentshipspecially in the field of science and technology. Whenever he comes here, The very first question he asks me is, ‘How is father Chinnadurai’? Chinnaduraitaught him Physics. So, he enquired about the well-being of our staff. He has a soft corner towards his Alma Mater. Kalam stayed for four years at St. Joseph’s Campus. After finishing his B.Sc degree in Physics, Kalam realized that Physics was not his subject and he wanted to study Engineering. In 1949, ChinnaswamiRajam gave The Madras Institute of Technology of The Anna University to the newly Independent India. He made MIT for a course like Aeronautical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, and Electronics Engineering. According to Retd. Prof. S. Narasimhan(Head of dept. of Aerospace)MIT, “He used to take great interest in a subject like design where one has to use one’s own initiative and bring out some innovative ideas about it.’’ Dr. A. Joseph Stanley, The principal of MIT Chennai also says that Dr. Kalam joined this institute in the department of Aerospace engineering and studied up to 1957. During his study period, Prof Rappandin a German Prof. was the head of the department and senior Professors like K.V.Panda and Prof S.V Narsimhan were there. At that time, There were no computers, no calculators. So, Most of the project work was experimental work. When he was a student the department of Aerospace Engineering designed a glider named Rohini under the guidance of Prof. RatanDev and this was taken to Minambaka airport and flown. At that time, It was considered to be a very great successful project. Later he joined ISRO and grew up to Project Director of the first satellite launch in India. He was a very motivating factor for all the students of MIT and MIT students feel pride that they are studying in an institute where Dr. Kalam had studied. Dr. Kalam’sjourney from a village boy to ‘Missile Man’, itself is a great reason to inspire others, and once he said that “I will not be Presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody, but some underprivileged child living in an obscure social setting may find some solace in the way my destiny has been shaped.’’