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From streets to the presidential seat: A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Biography

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam also known as ‘Missile Man of India’ was born in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu in the year 1931. By profession Kalam were an aerospace scientist and an author. He served as the president of the country from 2002 to 2007 as the 11th president of the nation.

Kalam did not have a smooth childhood. His father was a boat owner and later after the construction of the in-route bridge their businesses failed and the family fortune and properties were lost with time. By his initial teens, his family had become poor and at that age, the little kid sold newspapers to improve his family’s financial situation. In 1954, after completing his education there, he completed his graduation in Physics from a college affiliated with the University of Madras. In 1955, he began his aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology.

He missed his chance of being a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force by a small margin, he ranked 9th position in the qualifiers and only 8 vacancies were available. In 1960 he started working under Defence Research and Development Organisation. In 1969, Kalam was offered to work in the Indian Space Research Organisation where he was appointed as the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-III which in July 1980 fortunately stationed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit. His journey as a scientist and a mentor continued till his last breath. Kalam won the 2002 presidential election.

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial was built in 2017 by DRDO to pay respect to their late scientist in his birthplace. Also, the name of Aurangzeb Road was changed to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road in honor. Kalam wrote several books out of which India 2020, Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji and the most popular, Wings of Fire are to name a few.

No matter what problems life throws on you if you keep the courage to overcome, no hurdle seems tough when the outcomes show up!