“Using the power of knowledge and with consistent efforts, we can realise the dream of a developed India,” opined the former President of India and ‘missile-man’ Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Dr. Kalam, speaking after inaugurating the 150th anniversary celebrations of Sarada Vilas Educational Institutions in city yesterday, took everyone by surprise by beginning with “ellarigoo namaskara” in Kannada, eliciting a thunderous applause.

“Mysore is a centre for education. Many who obtained education here are serving worldwide in various capacities,” said Dr. Kalam and added that education decides on the quantum of growth of a nation. “You may become a doctor, an engineer, a scientist or a teacher – but your services must be towards the nation’s growth,” he said.

Dr. Kalam advocated a four-point formula for the students to excel – Aim greater, acquire knowledge, put in hard work and strive with perseverance. He also called upon the medical graduates to serve in the rural regions.

Sarada Vilas Educational Institutions President B.S. Parthasarathy presided. Sri Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt, District In-Charge Minister S.A. Ramdas and JSS University VC Dr. B. Suresh were present.

Abdul Kalam, simplicity personified in a great man

Mysore, Mar. 24 - “When some relatives of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, when he was the President of India, visited New Delhi during his swearing-in ceremony, their expenses were borne by Dr. Kalam from his own pocket and not spending government money,” said Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, during the function to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sarada Vilas Educational Institutions yesterday, where Dr. Kalam was the chief guest.

Extolling the former President for his simplicity and consideration for others’ time, Suttur Seer recalled the incident when Dr. Abdul Kalam called on an ailing Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in Ooty, during which Dr. Kalam ensured that the ex-Army officer’s time was not wasted.

When his chance came to speak, Dr. Kalam expressed gratitude for the kind words of the Seer and said he would narrate the same to his brother when he visited Delhi.

A blind boy who wants to be the Prez of India

Mysore, Mar. 24 - “Sir… I want to become the President of India. Can I?” asked a visually impaired boy to the former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

This incident was recalled by Dr. Kalam during his speech at Sarada Vilas yesterday.

Dr. Kalam said that the incident occurred during an interaction with tribal children in Andhra Pradesh on Aug. 20, 2006. A boy named Srikanth, visually impaired, who was among the audience, stood and asked this question.

“I told him to study well and becoming the President of India was not impossible. Inspired by my advise, Srikanth, despite being blind, studied in Braille script and scored 92% in tenth standard and 94% in 12th standard. He went on to score 96% in degree exam,” said Kalam and added, that “He was denied admission to a professional course on the grounds of being visually impaired. However, Srikanth did not lose heart. He took up the exam in private and passed in distinction.”

“When a leading company offered Srikanth a job, he politely refused saying that he intended to study more and his objective was to become the President of India,” said Dr. Kalam, highlighting on the point that when a blind boy can aim high and achieve with determination, why not the normal ones who are blessed with all the sense organs?

A simpleton who refused the 'throne-like chair'

Mysore, Mar. 24 - The former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam is such a down-to-earth person that he refused to sit on the special chair provided to him, by politely rejecting it.

Dr. Kalam, who was to inaugurate the 150th anniversary of Sarada Vilas, was provided with a red and gold velvet-lined throne-like seat on the dais, along with five other ordinary chairs for the VIPs. But Dr. Kalam, simplicity personified that he is, politely refused to sit on the ‘throne’ and requested a seat on par with the rest on the dais.

Dr. Kalam, who arrived at the venue at 12.45 pm, noticed the special chair provided to him on the dais and signalled the organisers to remove it immediately.

The organisers of the function, baffled by this turn of events, immediately replaced the throne-like seat with a chair similar to five others placed for the VIPs on the dais.

The audience, already fans of the “missile man” for his simplicity and keenly watching these developments, were overwhelmed with respect for the former President and sounded a thunderous applause in appreciation.

This is not the first time that Dr. Kalam has done so. A couple of years ago too he had refused a special chair for him at a function in Mysore.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore