APJ Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Rameswaram (Photo Credit: PTI File)
World Students' Day 2019: The United Nations will celebrate the birth anniversary of APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, as World Students’ Day. Dr Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Rameswaram. While APJ Abdul Kalam is well known as a scientist, administrator of country’s civilan space program and military missile development efforts and eventually India's 11th President, a recollection of his legacy is incomplete without a mention of his role as a teacher.
Dr Kalam was dedicated to teaching and identified himself first as a teacher and then as anything else. That is why, every year, his birthday is celebrated as World Students' Day. Recognising his love for students and education, the United Nations declared his birthday (October 15) as ‘World Students’ Day’ in 2010.
APJ Abdul Kalam had overcame many challenges and hardships to reach the not only the zenith of his profession but also the highest constitutional post in the land. There was even a time when he had to sell newspapers from door to door to support his family and education.
During his tenure as president he came to be known as the 'People’s President'. He set a target of addressing 5,00,000 students during his five-year term. After leaving office, he kept inspiring students with his speeches. He kept in touch with young people all over the country, getting hundreds of emails a day from young people. He was known to reply to most of these.
Perhaps it was destiny that Dr Kalam also spent his final moments doing what he loved most. The renowned scientist and teacher breathed his last in 2015 after suffering a cardiac arrest while delivering a speech at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong.