APJ Abdul Kalam: Some Interesting Facts You Need to Know

APJ Abdul Kalam

The 11th president of India and the famous ‘missile man‘, APJ Abdul Kalam was born in a Muslim family that lived in the Rameshwaram region of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. Very much interested in physics, he studied aerospace engineering also and worked as a scientist at ISRO and DRDO. Today in this article, we will discover some more interesting facts about this legendary personality.

Let’s begin…

  • His family was not very rich. His father had a boat to generate revenue for the family.
  • When he was born on the 15th of October 1931, he was named Abdul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam and in short, we call him APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • As his family was not financially strong, he had to work from an early age to support them. He used to sell newspapers and do work in the evenings when he was just five years old.
  • But this didn’t affect his studies. He was very hardworking and devoted all his efforts to studies even while working for financial needs too.
  • He was very much in love with maths and physics. His mind was very creative since childhood and would always think of new innovations and ideas.
  • He was a student of Saint Joseph’s College and in the year 1954, he passed out from there with a graduation degree and then went to the Madras Institute of Technology for further studies.
  • He always wanted to be a pilot and he got the ninth rank on the list but unfortunately, there were only eight seats available. So, the first 8 people were selected for the Indian Air Force and he could not make it.
  • But he was born to do something more than that. In 1960, he was associated with the DRDO programs, and in 1969, he was appointed to work for the ISRO in their satellite launch vehicles project as the director.
  • A man who could not become a fighter pilot at a time, then helped India to launch its first satellites into the earth’s Orbit. Under his supervision, the Rohini satellite was successfully launched.
  • He also worked on various launch vehicle technology and ballistic missiles and because of his efforts, he was given the title “Missile man of Missile”.
  • The famous Pokhran nuclear test was also successful only because of his efforts. He contributed a lot to India’s nuclear capabilities development.
  • The Government of India awarded many awards to him including the Bharat Ratna which was given to him in the year 1997, along with the Padma Vibhushan (1991) and Padma Bhushan which was given to him in 1981.
  • In 2002, he was elected as India’s president and he continued with this post till 2007. He got a new title ‘the People’s President’ because of his office kind attitude and the work that he did for the nation.
  • He got degrees of a doctorate from over more than 50 Universities and was also an excellent teacher. Once when he was asked how he wants to be remembered: as a president, a teacher, or a scientist? That time, he answered that he wanted to be remembered as a teacher and then any other thing.
  • The day when he visited the Swedish country – Switzerland, the Government of the country declared that day as the ‘Science Day’ in his honour after his death.
  • Twice, he was stopped at the New York airport for checking for any kind of explosives by the officials and this resulted in great protest at an international level by Indians.
  • He was also interested in writings and had created many poems in the Tamil language. His interest in music is also famous and he loved to play the Veena.
  • Although APJ Abdul Kalam was a Muslim, an amazing fact is that he was a pure vegetarian.
  • There is also a biographical film made on his life called ‘I am Kalam’ and it has discussed many facts regarding his life and is worth watching.
  • One more fun fact is that he was the only unmarried scientist and the president in India.
  • He was also honoured by MTV with the MTV Youth Icon award in the year 2003 and in 2006.
  • The day when he died, he was in IIM in Shillong where he was giving a speech in front of a big crowd and he got a cardiac arrest and died on 27 July 2015.

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