Happy Birthday Abdul Kalam: Unknown facts about the Missile Man

Bhubaneswar:  Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam otherwise known as APJ Abdul Kalam (15 Oct 1931 – 27 July 201) was an Indian scientist and a politician, who played a vital role in the development of the country’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-III and many nuclear weapon programs. He was the eleventh President of India from 2002 to 2007.

He is undoubtedly the most inspiring figure to the people of India. The youth icon is also popularly known as the Missile Man due to his work on the improvement of ballistic rocket and launch vehicle technology. He was born and raised in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu and has studied physics and aerospace engineering. Kalam spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was personally required in India’s civilian space program and military rocket advancement efforts.

On  his birth anniversary,  let’s have a look at some unknown facts about APJ Abdul Kalam

  • Born into a poor family on Oct 15th His father was a boat owner and he had one boat to support his family. Kalam was the youngest sibling of their 5 children.
  • He was a hardworking boy. At the tender age of five, he started selling newspapers in early mornings to help his father support the family. He also spent a great deal of time on his studies. He was fascinated by Physics and Mathematics.
  • Kalam missed an opportunity to become a fighter pilot for the Indian Air-Force. He was on the 9th spot on the rundown and they had eight openings.
  • In the year 1960, Kalam became involved with DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment.
  • In 1969, Kalam was made the project director for Satellite Launch Vehicles and was shifted to ISRO. The project became successful and under the guidance of Kalam, India was able to launch the Rohini Satellite series into Earth’s orbit. 
  • Kalam was honored with doctorates from 40 Universities.
  • Kalam have made significant contributions to the nuclear capabilities of India. The Pokhran-2 nuclear tests were successful under his guidance and technical knowledge.
  • Kalam was honored with many awards , The Bharat Ratna(1997), the highest civilian award of the Republic of India, The Padma Bhusan(1981) and The Padma Vibhubhusan(1990).
  • Kalam was frisked twice at JFK Airport in New-York. He was checked for explosives by the airport staff. The incident was protested by India on the International level.
  • Kalam wrote many poems in Tamil, was fond of playing a musical instrument “Veena” . Being a Muslim, he used to read both Bhagavad Gita and Quran.
  • Kalam was active on social media. His twitter account had more than 1.4 million followers and people loved his easy approaching nature and his interactive with everyone.
  • Kalam has written many inspirational books, such as Wings of Fire, India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, The Luminous Sparks, Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India, Inspiring Thoughts, A Manifesto for Change.
  • Kalam had led a very simple life even being appointed as the President Of India.He came to Rashtrapati Bhawan with a simple suitcase and left with the same.
  • Kalam gave his presidential pay to philanthropy. He had a trust named PURA- Providing Urban Amenties to Rural Areas and gave his entire salary to the trust.
  • Odisha government has formally named the Outer Wheeler Island in Bhadrak District as APJ Abdul Kalam Island as a tribute to the former president on his second death anniversary,
  • Kalam who dedicated every single minute of his life serving for his country has been justified as he was delivering a lecture at the IIM Shillong, when he suffered a cardiac arrest that made him fall to the floor.


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