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Home > Books > From Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan!

From Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan!

dr kalam

I was very sad to hear about the passing away of my idol – a true source of inspiration to many- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – the Former President of India!  He is in my opinion one of the greatest leaders India has produced.   He will always remain a beacon of knowledge, leadership and humility.

I read his memoir “Wings of Fire” last year.  The journey of his life from Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan is a great example of a man’s dedication, values and ideals in life.  The anecdotes that he has related are all lessons for us to emulate.

He continued the great work of stalwarts of the Indian Space Program like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and brought our space program to even greater heights.  Space research is today one of the areas that India leads the world!  Our mission to Mars is an example of the great strides we have made under the exemplary leadership of people like him.

Another quality that endears all to Dr. Kalam is his closeness to children and his humility.  He always had that quality of being simple, approachable and human in his interaction with people.

Some of Dr. Kalam’s achievements were:

  • Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced with the choice of his job at DRDO.
  • At ISRO, he was the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980.
  • Kalam first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government’s approval and expanded the program to include more engineers.
  • In 1963–64, he visited Nasa’s Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland andWallops Flight Facility situated at Eastern Shore of Virginia.
  • During the period between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar SLV and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be success.
  • In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, namely, Project Devil andProject Valiant , which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme.
  • Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program  including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithv
  • The Pokhran-II nuclear tests wereconducted during this period where he played an intensive political and technological role
  • He received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna,  India’s highest civilian honour.

In his book “Wings of Fire”.  Dr. Kalam said “For me, science has always been the path to spiritual enrichment and sellf-realisation”.   He was a scientist who maintained a working relationship with God. He believed that sometimes without the slightest warning, something new breaks into your life and a secret decision is taken, a decision that you may be completely unconscious of, to start with.

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Categories: Books
  1. August 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Great tribute!

  2. August 6, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Thanks Indrani 🙂

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