New Delhi: October 15 marks the 87th birth anniversary of India’s Missile Man, former president APJ Abdul Kalam. Kalam was born on this day in 1931, in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram. He studied physics and aerospace engineering and came to be known for his contribution to the world of science and humanity. He came to be known for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. Also Read - Remembering V Shanta: The Colossus of Cancer Care in India Dies at 93; Condolences Pour in For Padma Awardee
In 2002, Kalam became the 11th President of India. Several celebrities and politicians took to Twitter to recognise his contributions to the nation. Also Read - Social Distancing, Mandatory Screening: Schools in Tamil Nadu Set to Open From Tomorrow
Fondly remembered as the ‘People’s President’, he was honoured with prestigious awards such as Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, and Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award. Kalam died on 27 July 2015 at IIM Shillong while delivering a lecture to students. His last words reportedly were to his long-time aide Srijan Pal Singh “Funny guy! Are you doing well?”
APJ Abdul Kalam also excelled as an author, inspirational speaker, scientist, researcher and much more. His contributions to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation are notable. Mr Kalam played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.
Dr Kalam received India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1997 for his contribution to the scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society “to recognise excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related project”.