“If you dream something and wish to achieve it, the whole universe conspires in helping you to get it.” These lines so perfectly match to the 11th President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He had a dream to fly and despite being not selected as an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, he continued to dream so. He achieved his dream when he became the first Indian President onboard IAF’s Su-30 fighter. On his way to his dream, he achieved so many individual feats and laurels in the field of Science and Technology and helped India to gain an international image. His contribution to nation’s development was second to none.
Dr. Kalam was known as “Missile Man of India”, as he was part of major military missile development program as well as space programs for the country. He worked as a scientist for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for four decades. He started his career as scientist by designing a small helicopter for Indian Army in 1960. He later was the project director of India’s first satellite launch vehicle that deployed Rohini satellite. He visited NASA’s research centre and flight facilities in 1963. His efforts of developing Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) were successful. He directed country’s ballistic missile project and many classified aerospace projects. This included development of many missiles under the mission Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
Dr. Kalam served as Chief Scientific Advisor to Prime Minister and Secretary of DRDO from 1992 to 1999. During this tenure, he was known to be country’s best known nuclear scientist playing an intensive political and technological role in Pokharan-II nuclear tests. Apart from this, he contributed to medical science too by developing a low cost coronary stent and a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas along with cardiologist Soma Raju.
He worked under the leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and Prof Satish Dhawan and considered them to be his teachers. He was awarded 40 doctorates from universities around the world with several awards for his invaluable work in development of the nation. He was conferred with the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1997.
He was a great, honest and humble person even after getting so many accolades around the world. His vision of making India a superpower in all fields seemed so realistic due to his work and dedication towards the nation. In years to come, we will surely miss his wisdom and warmth. It’s a huge loss to the country, as we have lost an able leader. He will be always remembered for his duties and his thoughts continue to inspire millions to strive and work hard for success. He gives everyone a perfect example of human capabilities to achieve dreams in spite of difficulties and emerge as the best in the end.