APJ Abdul Kalam was fondly known as the People’s President. He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. Kalam, a scientist who is known as the father of India’s missile defense program, was one of India’s most-loved presidents.
He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
On his birth anniversary, here’s looking at lesser-known facts about Abdul Kalam
- Born into a poor family in Rameswaram as Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, he sold newspapers to fund his education and later studied physics and aerospace engineering in Tamil Nadu.
- Kalam was interested in Indian classical music and has penned books that have been best sellers- Ignited Minds, Wings of Fire, Indomitable Spirit and India 2020.
- One of the little known facts about former President APJ Abdul Kalam is that he has a medical invention to his name — a coronary stent built with missile composites that dramatically brought down the cost of heart stents from Rs 55,000 to Rs 10,000 in the mid-1990s.
He was known as the ‘people’s President’ as he set a target of addressing 500,000 students during his five-year term. Even after leaving office in 2007, “Kalam Chacha” (“Uncle Kalam”), would receive hundreds of emails a day from young people inspired by his exhortation to “dream, dream, dream!”. It is said that he replied in person to nearly all of them.While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83.