APJ Abdul Kalam, also known as the missile man of India, is one of the most renowned personalities of India. He was a brilliant scientist and science administrator at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
APJ Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. His curiosity to learn, in spite of financial and other family difficulties, led him to be a great influencer.
He was always found of gaining knowledge and sharing it with others gave him immense joy.
He was one of the most loved and respected personalities in India and still continues to be. His encouraging words and contribution to the development of India can never be forgotten.
On the 90th birth anniversary of APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday, here are some of the lesser-known facts about him:
APJ Abdul Kalam’s full name is Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam.
He was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002. He was widely referred as the 'People's President'.
Kalam was the youngest in the family. He had four brothers and one sister. As a young boy, he used to sell newspapers in order to add to the family's income.
While Kalam was working on a senior class project in 1955 at Madras Institute of Technology, the Dean was dissatisfied with his progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. The Dean was, however, impressed with his work later and said, "I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline".
Unfortunately, Abdul Kalam missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he was placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the Indian Air Force.
He was a visiting professor in many significant institutes in India post his presidency.
Kalam developed a low-cost coronary stent, named the "Kalam-Raju Stent" along with cardiologist Soma Raju in 2012.The tablet computer for health care in rural areas was named the "Kalam-Raju Tablet".
Wheeler Island, a national missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island in September 2015.
Kalam had received seven honorary doctorates from 40 universities. He was also honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 by the Government of India.