By K.Venkatesan, HOD, Homescience, JNRM, Port Blair

When a political leader passes away, the cadres belongs to their particular party normally taking part in the procession. But around 5 lakhs of general public comprising students, youth, women elders and children irrespective of caste and religion garnered to give bid adieu to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram despite he doesn’t have the political badge. Around 70% of them were youth and students community. They were thronging to have a final glimpse of their beloved dream hero and role model Dr.Kalam. The police and security personnel didn’t find hard to manage that much gathering. The police admired that we thought managing the public and youth will be herculean task. But that was not the case. They youth eased our job.  Who taught them  to be self disciplined  and who preach them the values of righteousness. He is none other than Dr.APJ.Abdul Kalam. His sudden demise was sent a shocking wave across the spine to the people of home and aboard. The Prime Minister said the “Real Ratna of Bhrat” left us. Obviously Bharat has lost not only an elder son, but a visionary scientist who had the VISION 2020. Dr Kalam was an inspirational person by his ever smiling gesture for the people beyond generations.

Revolving our country into a developed one is the first and foremost vision and dream of Kalam sir. That’s the reason why whenever he meet the younger generation he asked them to “Dream-Dream-Dream” further he adds “Small Aim is Crime”.

Next to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Dr. Kalam was the one who very much affectionate towards children’s and concerned about the youth of our country. Dr. V.Ponraj, Adviser to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam used to tell Dr. Kalam’s only properties were his literatures (books) and 64 crore youths of india. That much indomitable faith kept by Dr Kalam towards the younger generation was to see motherland as developed one in all aspects. viz., Education, Health, Employment generation, Defence and Technology etc., The people friendly atmosphere created by Dr Kalam in Rastrapathi Bhawan made him to call affectionately as “PEOPLES PRESIDENT”. There is no need of becoming worldwide popular, but by following the way of Dr Kalam atleast we have to adopt harmony, inter religious, righteousness and maintain brotherhood in our own locality. At the time of interview one of the question raised by media personnel was “as a Scientist what made you to be happy or what is your great achievement”. The reply of Dr Kalam was  FRO  (Floor Reaction Orthosis) to a Polio affected children’s. The FRO is the epitome of convergence of engineering and medical science which reduced the caliper weight from 4 kg to 400 km in turn alleviated the pain of the children which brought smile in their face and parents too.  Whatever meeting or public programme Dr Kalam participates, the children’s and youth throng to get his autograph and he never bothered for children’s cluster rather loved to be with them.

It has now become the site for germination of dream, vision, thoughts, action, innovation, creativity, courage, honesty, integrity, culture of excellence and social service and ultimately to create an enlightened citizens. In his “Song for Youth” Dr. Kalam  wrote, I pray the Almighty: "May the divine peace with beauty enter into our people; Happiness and good health blossom in our bodies, minds and souls". He is the one who brought biodiversity in the historical Mughal Garden of Rashtrapathi Bhawan later which was called Spiritual Garden.  Through “What Can I Give Mission” which connected several crores Youth through electronically and discussed societal models. In what can I give mission he exhorted the students to come forward for tree planting, save the earth, cleanliness etc., That day itself it paved the way for the today Swachh Bharat Movement. “Tirukkural” couplets are played vital role in the life of former president. The speech of Kalam sir won’t complete without quoting Tirukkural. He advised the students to defeat the defeat and should not lose heart rather regenerate energy to achieve the ultimate goal. The speech and address made by Kalam was depending upon the group whether they are students, teachers, youth, women, farmers he asked them to take administer oath related to their field which is developed by him. In addition to that he always ask “ WHAT I WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR”. Under which do something for the society either cleaning, tree plantation, health, education etc. through that the society should remember your contribution.

After dignitaries paid their respects to the mortal remains of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, people in Delhi and various parts of the nation are pouring in 1000's. Lakhs of people are in queue. Mostly 70% of them are youth and students. School after school children are thronging to have a glimpse of their beloved dream role model Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. In the year 2004 Dr. Kalam became the first Indian President to visit the Siachen glacier, which is the highest battlefield  for interacting  with our army personnel.  More credit that as a supreme commander of all three forces he was the first person to fly a Sukhoi jet, travel in a submarine etc. and what not.  At the time of his visit to this islands on 4th September 2009 he delivered a speech on the Seminar on Security and Development of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and he said he visited here a number of time, the people of this islands bravely faced the consequences especially at the time of  tsunami.

During a last moment of journey with Dr Kalam’s mortal body, Shri Ponraj said  “a dream hero who implanted a vision in the minds of 640 million of India is going to take peaceful rest as a silent seed, which will transform the youth of our nation to become a great and enlightened citizens”.

The Various State Governments are vying  each other for paying tribute to Dr Kalam,  through naming and renaming the educational institutions and roads in the name of that great soul. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar  has announced  the Kishanganj Agriculture College will be named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

"The government has decided to rename the college as APJ Abdul Kalam Agriculture College," Nitish Kumar added.  Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh announced the  Technical University has been renamed as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University.  For remembering the contribution made by Dr Kalam  in the first successful land-to-land test of the Prithvi Missile which was conducted from the other part of the mainland and it landed on the then and previously uninhabited 'Wheeler Island' on November 30, 1993.   Shri Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Chief Minister announced Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as “Abdul Kalam Island”. The Government of Tamil Nadu  instituted an award in memory of Abdul Kalam, celebrate his birth anniversary as Youth Awakening Day.  Shri Oman Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala announced  Science Festival Trophy After Kalam and Kerala Technological University named after Dr Kalam. The Department of Posts, Government of India will release the Dr Kalam’s stamp on his birth anniversary.

What we are going to do for Dr Kalam:

At the time of his visit to this islands on 4th September 2009 he delivered a speech on the Seminar on Security and Development of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and he said he visited here a number of time, the people of this islands bravely faced the consequences especially at the time of  tsunami.  Whenever I met Dr Kalam during our discussion he has shown enormous love towards the Islanders, because he himself hailed from Rameswaram Island and he admitted that he know the pain and problems of the Islanders. He was very much concerned about the development of Andaman & Nicobar Islands especially, he asked me to work on PURA, (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas), New and Renewable Projects, Conserving Biodiversity etc.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands also as a rich  tribute to Dr Kalam, the Port Blair Municipal Council (PBMC) may think of naming the road after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and  the educational institute  could be named as Dr Abdul Kalam College. The ensuing year the JNRM will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee Celebration. The entire science block may be named as Dr Kalam,s Block. 

The inspiration received from Dr Kalam the youth of our country  will become a asset for the nation to fulfill the vision of Dr.Kalam. We miss your selfless smile and sparkling eyes sir.