PM Modi heaps praise on Dr Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary

PM Modi bows before the bust of Kalam
PM Modi bows before the bust of Kalam | Photo courtesy PTI

CHENNAI (TIP): Recalling that Dr A P J Abdul Kalam wished to be remembered as a teacher, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  said the former President was well-aware of the importance of nurturing future generations. Modi mentioned several vital sectors where innovation was essential, including cyber-security, housing for all, river-linking, enhancing agricultural productivity, blue economy, and zero-defect, zero-effect manufacturing. “Kalam had not only risen from humble beginnings to the highest office in India, but had also built great institutions, virtually from scratch. All of us should draw inspiration from his example,” said Modi.

A memorial would be constructed for Dr Kalam at Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu where he was buried, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in DRDO Bhavan in New Delhi held to commemorate the former President’s birth anniversary.

A committee of Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar and Pon Radhakrishnan and former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswamy will work out the details of the memorial. Land has already been acquired for this at Rameswaram, said urban development minister Naidu in an official release.

Soon after Kalam’s death on July 27, the state government had also identified a piece of land close to Rameswaram for a memorial.

“A memorial for Kalam would be built at Rameswaram to inspire future generations,” said Modi. “While most people look for opportunities in life, Kalam always sought fresh challenges to overcome,” said Modi. The Prime Minister recalled how he worked closely with Kalam during the post- earthquake reconstruction work in Kutch area of Gujarat. A commemorative postal stamp on Kalam was released to mark the occasion and the Prime Minister unveiled a statue of the former President at the Bhavan. He inaugurated a photo exhibition titled “A Celebration of Kalam’s Life.”

Meanwhile, IIM-Shillong, where Kalam gave his last lecture before fainting, said a 2,000sqft auditorium with capacity to seat 200 students would be set up in Kalam’s name and his bust would be placed there.

Across Tamil Nadu, Kalam’s birth anniversary was observed by politicians, students and various cross sections of the people as youth resurgence day as announced by chief minister J Jayalalithaa soon after his death. DMK treasurer M K Stalin who is on a state-wide tour said in a Facebook post that the Centre and state government must consider distributing calipers developed by Kalam to the disabled.

The Centre also included Rameswaram in the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for providing basic urban infrastructure in the pilgrim town. This was announced by Naidu. With its inclusion, Rameswaram would be the 498th town to be brought under the Amrut scheme and Tamil Nadu would have 32 cities and towns under the Atal mission, said the release.

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