If there are any gifts given to the Indian nation by God, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam is surely one of them. Born in a Tamil Muslim family on 15th October, 1931 in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, Abdul Kalam went on to become the 11th President of India during 2002-07. From Padma Vibhushan to Bharat Ratna, Kalam had a lot of titles and awards to his name. Here are the various roles taken by Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam until he passed away on 27th July, 2015.
1. Graduated in 1960 from Madras Institute of Technology, Kalam joined the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and designed Helicopters for the Indian Army.
2. He was transferred to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the role of Project Director for SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle for India. Having launched Rohini Satellite into the orbit in 1980, Kalam expanded India’s space programme.
3. India had become an important military power after the successes of Agni and Prithvi for which Kalam led the operations for the Indian missile programme in the 80s.
4. Kalam was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the PM and the secretary of DRDO from 1992 to 1999.
5. In synergy with the famous cardiologist Dr. Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent called the ‘Kalam-Raju stent’. In 2012, they designed a rugged tablet PC for healthcare in rural areas, which was called the ‘Kalam-Raju tablet’.
6. The Pokhran-II tests in 1998 laid a base to India’s nuclear mastery. Having played an important role in the project, Kalam strongly suggested the international community that those weapons should be used for peace.
7. Under rare circumstances, all political parties unanimously voted for Kalam to be the 11th President of India in 2002.
8. Kalam made himself dear to everyone with his extremely simple oration. His speeches at the UN and the European Parliament were quite remarkable.
9. After 2007, Kalam went on to be a visiting professor and made way to many initiatives for youth development in India. His ‘Wings of Fire’ and ‘India 2020’ are among the classics that inspired millions of Indian youth.
10. Kalam was awarded with Padma Vibushan, Padma Bhushan, Ramanujan Award, Bharat Ratna and 6 Doctorates from various universities around the world. His life work, his speeches, his projects are a real inspiration to the nation which make him one of the finest human beings that ever walked the earth.