Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam – A Memorable Meet
Written by: Dr. Rita Madanlal Shetiya
Ambassador of Grace Ladies Organization
Lecturer, Journalist, Trekker, Photographer, Anchor
Location: Pune, Maharashtra – India
Published at: Grace Ladies Random Thoughts Diary
I was lucky to have the opportunity to meet and interact with our former President, Teacher, Scientist, Philosopher who gave the motto to all, “Dream and make it come true”!!!
In 2006 while doing M. A. in Economics, we got an opportunity to do the project Vision 2020 (India Superpower) and on that occasion, I started reading Abdul Kalam sir’s biography and books. I study deeply what his concept of Vision 2020 is? On this occasion, I read his book “Agnipankh,” and his life journey unfolded. His journey from Kalam working as a paper seller to the President due to the harsh conditions at home was astonishing. At the same time, I dreamed that I would meet such a great person at least once in my life… but how? This was the question.
It is said that we have the power to fulfill our wishes, in our dreams… Then surely they come true….I go through this experience. I got this golden opportunity not only once but twice to meet and talk with Sir!!! I got this opportunity at the scholarship award function organized by Lila Poonawalla Foundation. In 2008 Kalam Sir was invited as the Chief Guest at the Foundation’s Scholarship Award function. We were going to do all the work in the event, i.e. reception of guests, arrangements etc.
It was the morning program we all were eagerly waiting for him … and he came, he saw, and he conquered. we are not in a dream!!! It seemed like… he shook hands with us in welcome… and he went on stage. The program started, at the time was his speech, he said I will not give a speech but you ask me questions and I will answer them. That day I got a chance to ask him questions. As Kalam sir and my field were the same, which is teaching. I have already decided what question I will ask him when will meet him. I ask that question. Why you chose the field as a teacher? His answer gave me new energy, inspiration and hope. He said, only teaching filed is where we can make the citizens of tomorrow, through this we can give proper direction and guidance to the students. Also, we cannot fulfill all the goals in our life at once, so even if one of our students fulfills one goal then the satisfaction from this is different. Only teacher is the one who can give the right shape to his (student) life…and not only we develop student’s life but we develop ourselves also. The relationship between student and teacher is like a potter and pot!
The teacher is not only imparting education for study but also goes beyond that and tells about ethical values, consciousness, our duty to the country, our role for society. Teachers are not only telling how to earn money but also telling how to live life and whom to live for. Learn to write as much as you read in life, reading will add to your words and writing will help you to reach people. A man is known by his work. So whether the work is small or big, do it with your heart, and make it perfect. Love your work.
Circumstances teach us a lot, it is the lack in our life that leads us to influence. I also completed my education by becoming a disciple… No matter how much trouble you face, don’t give up. Your generation will do the work to make it a reality… what is needed is the right guidance for this generation. What we can do for the country is more important than what the country has done for us. Science is equally important. Todays, girls are also showing their talent in various fields… If girls will get good opportunity in science filed, then they will take a huge leap in the field of science. Make use of every opportunity that comes your way. The whole sentence he used to say was inspiring to us. His invaluable guidance was definitely useful to us. Don’t get discouraged by failure and start again with vigor because without failure success doesn’t increase its importance. Troubles in life make you realize your potential and strengths.
This visit taught me a lot; I saw that no matter how high a man goes, his feet should remain on the ground. The journey between birth and death is “life” and how you live and create it that matters! Even his last breath he showed us unconditional love and devotion he had for his work!! His vision and his dream (for India) let us all fulfill it!!
Published by: Grace Ladies Organization Singapore
On 15th October 2022
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