Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s missile man, was also a teacher. His interest in students and their innovative projects can be determined by the fact that he travelled the country and visited several schools to meet the students. APJ Abdul Kalam served as the president of India from 2002 to 2007.
To mark Kalam’s contribution in the life of students, every year on October 15, which is Kalam’s birthday, World Students Day is celebrated. It was first celebrated in the year 2010 to honour Kalam.
The former President had many roles but his favourite one was that of a teacher. He continued teaching and inspiring minds, at the research centres, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Last year, the theme for World Students Day was ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity, and peace’. However, this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students cannot gather at schools and celebrate the day. But they can still remember the messages of Kalam and get motivated to do something better with their lives.
The ‘missile man’ continued to take interest in the activities of students and had often stressed that they are the future of the country.
He considered it essential for the growth of students to promote curiosity in them. Kalam once said, “One of the very important characteristics of a student is to question. Let the students ask questions.”
Kalam was usually found in the company of students, listening to their ideas and providing them feedback. The man passed away doing what he loved, speaking to the students of the country. In 2015, he was delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong when he passed away due to cardiac arrest.
Although people mark this day in India to honour him, the United Nations has not declared Kalam’s birthday as the World Students Day. Several reports suggest that they declared it but the UN denied doing so in October 2019, reported The New Indian Express.