President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday remembered the ‘Missile Man’ of India, A P J Abdul Kalam, on his birth anniversary, describing him as one of the greatest visionaries who ignited young minds.
He was speaking with a group of children who arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from Rameswaram by the bus ‘Dr Kalam Sandesh Vahini Vision 2020’. These children had called on the president. Kovind said he saluted Kalam and his monumental achievements as a scientist, a scholar and as the president of India. “One of the best ways of building the character of the youth of any country is to inspire them to read biographies of great personalities,” Kovind said.
The president said Kalam was one of India’s greatest visionaries and is fondly remembered as ‘The Missile Man of India’ and ‘People’s President’. He has made momentous contribution to India’s scientific heritage through his involvement in varied fields ranging from nuclear technology to designing low cost stents for the heart or lightweight calipers for polio victims, Kovind said.
“India will never forget the remarkable contributions of Kalam. He had a great passion for teaching and education and truly ignited young minds with the power to think and innovate,” the president said. Kovind said former president Kalam enjoyed being with people. “He was adored by people and youngsters. He loved students and spent his final moments among them,” the president said.
The president said that the Kalam Sandesh Vahini bus presents the life story of the former president in a very interesting manner. “He appreciated the effort. He said he was sure that a large number of Indians, especially the young people have benefited by seeing the mobile exhibition on the life, works and the vision of Kalam,” Kovind said.
The Kalam Sandesh Vahini was launched by House of Kalam and Chinmaya University. The Vahini depicts various incidents from Kalam’s life as well as key highlights of India’s scientific achievements, with an aim to educate and inspire the masses. It was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Rameswaram on July 27, 2017, during the inauguration ceremony of Kalam’s memorial. The Vahini has travelled from Rameswaram, through various states, to finally arrive at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Earlier in the day, Kovind paid floral tributes at the portrait of Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan along with family members of Kalam also paid floral tributes on the occasion.
Born on October 15, 1931, Kalam died on July 27, 2015. He was a popular head of state between 2002 and 2007.