Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is the name of Knowledge, Decency, Statesmanship, Patriotism, Glory, and Inspiration. Even though, he is no longer one of us, but, his name and his actions are and always will be an inspiration to tens of thousands of youngsters around the globe. He still lives in the hearts of countless Indians. His journey out of selling the Newspapers to the President of the Nation is truly more than a miracle. Being an ideal embodiment of Science, he truly deserves to be called the ‘Missile Man of India’ Simple life and personality together with high thinking were the 2 important weapons of Kalam to address the problems of life.
Kalam was born to Jainulabiddin Marakayar who was a imam in a mosque and Ashiamma Jainulabiddin , who was a housewife. He had three brothers: Kasim Mohammed, Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar, Mustafa Kamal plus one sister who was eldest, Asim Zohra.
After getting education in Madras Institute of Technology, he joined the lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), called Aeronautical Development Establishment. Initially, he also designed a small hovercraft. Kalam was likewise a part of Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) committee beneath the famed Indian Space Scientist, Vikram Sarabhai.
From July 1992 to December 1999, Kalam has been the principal scientific adviser to the Prime Minister and the secretary of DRDO. Throughout the Pokhran II nuclear test in 1999, he served as Chief Project Coordinator, combined with Rajagopala Chidambaram.
During the 2002 Presidential Election, he was nominated as President of India by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and supported by Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He even received the majority of the votes bagging 89% of those votes overall beating his rival, Lakshmi Sahgal (A radical during Indian Independence Movement and a former Army officer). On 25th July 2002, Kalam became the 11th President of India.
In 1981 he was awarded, Padma Bhushan by the government of India. Back in 1990, he was bestowed upon Padma Vibhushan. He was honored by the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1997. Back in 1998, he had been awarded Veer Savarkar Award by Government of India. Britain’s Royal Society also given him that the King Charles II Medal in 2007. Last Year, he had been awarded Hoover Medal by ASME Foundation, USA. In 2013, National Space Society, USA bestowed him up on Von Braun Award.
In his honour, the UP government changed Uttar Pradesh Technical University’s title to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University. The name of Kerala Technological University was renamed to A. P J. Abdul Kalam Technological University after his death. Back in September 2015 the name of Wheeler Island, a federal missile test site in Odisha had been renamed to Abdul Kalam Island to honour him. The name of a famous road in New Delhi has been changed from Aurangzeb Road to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road.
His life was really simple. He did not own many things except a few: 2,500 books, a wristwatch, a Veena, a CD Player, a laptop, 6 shirts, 3 suits, 4 pants, and a pair of shoes, his ancestral house and a tiny site near his house at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu.
About 27 July 2015, Kalam was flying into Shillong to produce a lecture at Indian Institute of Management in Shillong. While climbing staircase of the flight, he felt unease but got well after resting for some time in aero plane. When he was delivering a lecture in the class, at 6:35 pm, then he collapsed. He was rushed to a local Bethany Hospital. He was placed in ICU. However, at 7:45 pm, then he also chose his final breath and died of Cardiac Arrest.