APJ Abdul Kalam, mere name brings smile and happiness onto the faces of many. Indeed, he lived a life which is an example for most of us. For the efforts, he put in and the way he lived, will keep on inspiring people for years to come.
Post graduating from Madras Institute of Technology, in the year 1960, He joined DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization). Here he used to make helicopters. While serving here, he mentioned many times that he does not feel very motivated.
After serving for 9 years, in 1969, he got approval from the ministry, to pull in more scientists and engineers at DRDO.
Later on, he was transferred to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). Here he worked as a project manager. He was working on SLV-III. SLV-III was then India’s first indigenous satellite launch. Launch of SLV III motivated and triggered his passions for space even better.
In the 1980s, under his supervision, India launched Agni and Prithvi. This gave real support and power to Indian defense. While serving for space betterment and in the interest of the nation, he served as an advisor to the Prime Minister and the secretary at DRDO. His tenure of serving this way was of seven years (1992-1999).
In the year 1998, he contributed to medical science along with Dr. Soma Raju. They both developed coronary stent, which was comparatively cheaper than other stents. In order to give them respect, the stent was named ‘Kalaam- Raju stent’ by the Government of India. Later Dr. Kalaam designed a compact computer- commonly known as Tablet these days, in order to encourage education in the rural areas.
The same year, 1998, he was a part of the ‘nuclear power project’. Post successful launching of the same, he clearly stated that this weapon shall be used only to bring in peace.
In 2002, it was a rare unity, majority of parties voted for Dr. Kalaam to be the 11th president of India.
During his reign as the president of India, he gave speeches at the UN and the Parliament of Europe. These speeches are considered to be the best till date. The simplicity in his speech made him loved by all.
There was one thing he totally loved. He loved to teach and write. Post completion of his tenure as the president, he became the visiting professor for many educational institutions. He even supported launch of multiple programs for the youth of India.
The books he wrote, have one common factor in them, they are all about making ‘India a special place’. Even today, he is remembered for the contributions he made. Even when he died, he was at an educational institute, addressing the students. Indeed an example for all of us!
Achievements and Awards:
Padma Bhushan, Government of India in 1981
Padma Vibhushan, Government of India in 1990
Bharat Ratna, Government of India in 1997
Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, Government of India in 1997
Veer Savarkar Award, Government of India in 1998
Ramanujan Award, Alwars Research Centre, Chennai in 2000
Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Wolverhampton, UK in 2007
King Charles II Medal Royal Society, UK in 2007
Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2008
International von Karman Wings Award, California Institute of Technology, USA in 2009
Hoover Medal ASME Foundation, USA in 2009
Doctor of Engineering, University of Waterloo in 2010
IEEE Honorary Membership, IEEE in 2011