Apj Abdul Kalam
Dr. Apj Abdul Kalam
The Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at Dhanushkodi in the Rameswaram district of Tamil Nadu.
He was neither educated abroad, nor was his family financially very strong to support his academic pursuits. His father, Jainulabiddin Marakayar had to rent boats out to fishermen to pay for his school fees.
Mother Ashiamma, had gained much formal education. His father possessed great innate wisdom, true generosity of spirit and was a spiritual person.
He received secondary education at the Schwartz School, a missionary institute in Ramanathapuram, and later joined the St Joseph's College at Tiruchirrapalli, where he graduated with a Bachelor in Science. Abdul Kalam went on to study Aeronautical Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology.
He was the first graduate in the family, with his brothers not even finishing school. He distributed newspapers at a young age to help with household expenses.
Abdul Kalam was perhaps marked out to be different right from the beginning. Since he was the youngest in the family, he got his fair share of pampering from the elders.
But neighbours remember him as a reserved boy who was very interested in reading books. In a way, library was the foundation on which Kalam built his career.
Thoroughly Indian, the only brief exposure that he got abroad was in 1963-64 when he was invited by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to spend four months in the United States at the Wallops Island Rocketry Centre and the Langley Research Centre.
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