Dr Abdul Kalam: 5 interesting facts about the People’s President

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Abdul Kalam

Today is the second death anniversary of former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

New Delhi: Today is the second death anniversary of former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. A scientist, educationalist and visionary, Kalam donned several hats in his life. Fondly known as the ‘missile man’, he also played a crucial role in the 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests. Kalam passed away while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong. Even in his final moments, Kalam was doing what he loved the most – teaching. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, in honour of the late scientist and ‘People’s President’.

As nation remembers Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his second death anniversary, here are 5 interesting facts about the beloved Indian President:

1. Kalam gave away his salary to charity
Dr Kalam donated his entire salaries and savings to a charitable trust – PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas) – he had founded.
His argument. After becoming the President of India, the government will take care of him till the end of his life. So why not use his salary for better things.

2. The story of his cobbler in Thiruvananthapuram
During an official Presidential visit to Thiruvananthapuram to Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Kalam took out time to meet his old cobbler, George. The two would often chat while the cobbler repaired his shoes.

3. Distributed newspapers after school
Young Kalam would distribute newspapers after his school hours, to add to his father’s income and support his poor family.

4. A man of little things
Dr Kalam led a simple lifestyle. He never owned a television. His few personal possessions included books, veena, few clothes, CD player and laptop. At the time of his death, he left no will and all his possessions went to his older brother.

5. Rashtrapati Bhavan powered by solar energy
Dr Kalam tried to power the entire President’s house by solar energy. Unfortunately, his proposal could not be implemented before his term ended.

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