Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, 11th president of India, also
known as the ‘missile man’ died on July 27, 2015 in Shillong.
The man behind India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle,
Kalam was born in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram on 15 October, 1931. He was known as
the people’s president and after his presidency he went on become a visiting
professor at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong, the Indian
Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and Indian Institute of Management Indore;
an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, chancellor of the
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.
On his death anniversary, here are some interesting facts
about the former president:
- Dr Kalam was in Shillong to address second year students of IIM-Shillong on ‘Creating a Liveable Planet’, when suddenly he fainted. He died on July 27, 2015.
- He was a teacher, philosopher, author and a scientist.
- In order to support his family, Kalam distributed newspapers after his school hours to add to his father’s income.
- He never got married as he dedicated his life to serve the nation, his brother’s grandson APJ MJ Sheikh Saleem told Opoyi.
- Yogurt and fruits were a must in his diet.
- Kalam was a scientist in Defence Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO) and he designed helicopters for the Indian Army.
- He was a part of country’s first nuclear test.
- He was the president supported by all political parties.
- In 2005, Switzerland declared 26 May as “Science Day” to commemorate
Kalam’s visit to the country.
- He received Honorary Doctorates from 40 Universities in the world.
- The United Nations recognised Kalam’s 79th birthday as World Student Day.
- Dr APJ Abdul Kalam wanted to become a fighter
pilot for the Indian Air Force and missed the opportunity by just one rank. He
was at the ninth place on the list, and there were only eight openings.
- Kalam was one of three presidents of India who
were conferred the Bharat Ratna before they were elected President.
- He was awarded the MTV Youth Icon award twice,
in 2003 and 2006.