APJ Abdul Kalam (1931 – 2015)
- July 2, 2021
By Srinidhi Murthy
Avur Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was loved and respected as a scientist, a teacher, a visionary, and then as the 11th President of our country. No one would have thought that this little boy from Rameswaram would one day be honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s most prestigious award, and will always be remembered for his vision for India.
Illustration: Arijit Dutta Chowdhury
His father was thought to be a healer
Born on 15th October 1931, Abdul was the youngest child of Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma. His father was the Imam at the local Mosque of Rameswaram and led worshippers during prayers. Many people considered him to be a healer. They brought water to him and he dipped his fingers into it while chanting prayers. This water was then used for healing people. His father often explained to young Abdul the power of faith and prayer. This advice probably stayed with him throughout his lifetime.
His sister gave her gold bangles to cover the cost of his education
Illustration: Arijit Dutta Chowdhury | Script: Tripti Nainwal
Young Abdul Kalam got admission into the Madras Institute of Technology. His parents did not know how to meet the cost of his higher education. His elder sister, Zohra gave her gold bangles to make ends meet even though she had little money for her own household needs. Abdul was touched by this selfless gesture. He studied hard to get a scholarship to redeem the piece of jewellery that she had given up....