Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, former President of India reiterated the importance of imparting educational and moral values among children last fortnight.
This reporter had an opportunity to meet him at his New Delhi home while in the City as a part of the media delegation accompanying Prime Minister John Key on his State visit to India.
Dr Kalam is one of the world’s most renowned scientists, educationists and poets.
“You live in a beautiful country. I have many friends there,” he said.
Although a celebrated scientist, who reached the highest office in the world’s largest democracy, Dr Kalam’s heart and mind are with people. He loves children and believes in their value-added education.
He has often urged educationists to build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.
Born on October 15, 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam specialised in Aeronautical Engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology.
He developed India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), which successfully injected the ‘Rohini’ Satellite in the near earth Orbit in July 1980, making India a member of the exclusive Space Club.
Dr Kalam was responsible for the evolution of the launch vehicle programme of the Indian Space Research Organisation, development of ‘Agni’ and ‘Prithvi’ missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions.
The Indian Government honoured him with ‘Bharat Ratna,’ the highest civilian award in 1997.
Dr Kalam served as the President of India from 2002 to 2007.