A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a scientist and a motivator who also served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He is highly respected and looked upon with pride for his unmatched scientific acumen and the contributions he had made for the scientific progress of India. His almost insatiable desire to converse, teach and inspire the youth made him almost a cult figure among them. Even today, Mr. Kalam remains the most popular personality, among the youths. We have given below some facts on Mr. Kalam for a quick reference, followed by an Event page on his Birthday.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Birthday 2019
This year the Birthday of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was celebrated on Tuesday, 15th October 2019.
The inspirational quotes of Mr. Kalam along with the birthday wishes were being constantly posted on several social media accounts. The Twitter activity could be traced by visiting #WorldStudentsDay.
People visited in large numbers to the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial in Pei Karumbu, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu to know from close quarters the life and achievements of Kalam.
In national capital Delhi, Prime Minister with his council of Ministers as well as leaders from the opposition remembered Mr. Kalam and paid their homage to the great man. Many dignitaries and notable film and media personalities, as well as authors, philosophers, student unions, charitable organizations, scientists, etc, paid due respect to Mr. Kalam in their own ways.
A BJP leader from Telangana state has written a letter to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India, to observe the birthday of Dr. Kalam as “National Students’ Day”.
Facts about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 in Rameswaram on Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu.
- The full name of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam.
- Kalam was born in a Tamil Muslim family, to Jainulabdeen (father) and Ashiamma (mother).
- His father owned a boat and served as an Imam at a local mosque, while his mother was a housewife.
- Kalam was the youngest among four brothers and a sister in the family who stayed a bachelor throughout his life.
- He belonged to a family of wealthy traders, but over time the wealth was lost and Kalam spent his childhood in poverty.
- Young Kalam also sold newspapers to supplement his family’s income.
- An average student but an avid learner, Kalam was an Engineering Graduate in Aerospace Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.
- Kalam wanted to become a fighter pilot in Indian Air Force but narrowly missed the opportunity as he secured ninth position while there were only eight vacancies.
- He worked briefly in the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
- He worked as the Project Director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), in ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization).
- As the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), Kalam played a major role in the development of missiles Agni and Prithvi as well as other tactical missiles.
- For his contribution to the Indian Missile Technology, and also in the Pokhran-II nuclear test, Mr. Kalam was also called the Missile man of India.
- Kalam had served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister of India.
- Kalam served as the 11th President of India from 25th July 2002 to 25th July 2007.
- It was the first time when a bachelor and a scientist moved into the President’s House.
- He was the recipient of many prestigious awards including Bharat Ratna (1997), Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhusan (1990) and Hoover Medal (2009).
- After retiring from Presidency, Mr. Kalam served as the visiting faculty in many prestigious institutes including IIM Shillong, IIM Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds are some of the notable books authored by him.
- Kalam collapsed on the evening of 27th July 2015 while addressing students at IIM Shillong. He was rushed to a hospital and died of Cardiac Arrest at 07:45 P.M. IST.
- The Missile Man of India was laid to rest at Pei Karumbu Ground in his hometown Rameswaram.
Why and How A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Birthday is Celebrated
Five years prior to the death of Mr. Kalam, which is in 2010, the United Nations had already declared his Birthday on 15th October to be annually celebrated as the World Students’ Day. The honor was given to him because of the popularity that he enjoyed among the students and the lectures he gave had inspired millions of students coming from all the levels of society.
Various educational institutions from across the world celebrate World Students’ Day in their own way. Competitions like talk shows, essay writing, and scientific exhibitions are organized in the honor of Mr. Kalam. The lectures that Mr. Kalam gave while addressing the students of several schools and colleges are also shown to the students. By listening to the lectures students get inspired and start their life with a new zeal.
India holds a special status for the celebration of Mr. Kalam’s birthday, as he was so much popular among the people and the students that he was given the sobriquet of “The Peoples’ President”. His portrait could be seen in every school in India and his books and quotes still inspire millions of poor, underprivileged as well as students belonging to affluent families.
Popular Books Written by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Below we are providing some of the most popular books written by Mr. Kalam and a brief description of their contents, to let you have an idea of how they inspire the youths.
- India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium (1998)
The book was authored by Dr. Kalam and co-authored by Y.S. Rajan. The book is based on a document prepared by Nivetha S.K. from the Technology, Information, forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) of India’s Department of Science and Technology under the Chairmanship of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. In the book, Dr. Kalam has given a blueprint of making India among the top five developed nations by the year 2020.
- Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1999)
The book is written by Dr. Kalam and another missile scientist and author, Mr. Arun Tiwari. Kalam has briefed everything about his early life and career – his struggle and hardships, his efforts, his aspirations, the opportunities he got and the choices he made, etc. In the book, you will find how sheer determination and hard work turned an average student into a great scientist who also became the President of India.
- Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India (2002)
The book contained many inspirational messages from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Dr. Kalam has dedicated this small 205 pages book to a student from Gujarat, named Snehal Thakkar. It so happened that when Dr. Kalam was conversing with the students of a school in Gujarat, the question “Who is our enemy?” came up. The most accurate and satisfying answer came from Thakkar, who said that “Our enemy is poverty”.
- Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life (2005)
Dr. Kalam co-authored this book with Arun Tiwari and reveals his unknown spiritual side. The book narrates dialogues between Kalam and Tiwari and is divided into three parts. The first part deals with inner thoughts and emotions; the second discusses the life and essence of some significant personalities and finally the third and last part discusses the journey of the soul.
- You Are Born To Blossom: Take my Journey Beyond (2011)
The book again co-authored with Arun Tiwari is also an inspiring read, like the other books of Dr. Kalam. The book describes the vision of Dr. Kalam to see the schools as nerve centers of India’s progress by the year 2020. He visualizes schools as the junction where teachers, students, and societies meet for sharing knowledge and wisdom. The book gives an example of several famous personalities from different fields who achieved progress late in life; to prove that there is no upper age to blossom or to fulfill your dream.
Inspiring Quotes and Thoughts of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Below we have given some of the most inspiring quotes/thoughts of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to inspire you and give an insight into the mind of a great soul.
“We Should Not Give Up And We Should Not Allow The Problems To Defeat Us”.
“Let Us Sacrifice Our Today So That Our Children Can Have Better Tomorrow”.
“If You Want To Shine Like a Sun, First Burn Like a Sun”.
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true”.
“The bird is powered by its own life and by its own motivation”.
“Small aim is a crime, have great aim”.
“Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career”.
“One of the very important characteristics of a student is to ask the question. Let the students ask questions”.
“Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow”.
“A teacher should have a creative mind”.
“Do we not realize that self-respect comes from self-reliance?”
“Great teachers emanate out of knowledge, passion, and compassion”.
“Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person”.
“Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success”.
“If we are not free, no one will respect us”.
“The youth need to be enabled to become job generators from job seekers”.
“War is never a lasting solution for any problem”.
“I was willing to accept what I couldn’t change”.
“I have met 18 million youths and each wants to be unique”.
“The President’s post should not be politicized. Once a President is elected, he is above politics”.