This is one man I really was hoping I could meet one day in person. The late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is the pride of every Indian.
He was an Indian by citizen, a Tamil by mother tongue, and a Muslim by religion - a perfect amalgam that united India.
I don’t know any other living scientist who is so accomplished in his field while being a poet, philosopher, held the presidency of a country and a mentor and inspiration of every youth in his country.
He is one of the most respected rocket scientists in the world and played a pivotal role in advancing India’s nuclear research and programmes.
The Petri Dish editorial team strongly felt that his story should get a mention in the front page. This is the least we could do as a science newspaper.
Born into a fisherman family in Tamil Nadu, he went on to study aeronautics, earning all his degrees in India but becoming a world class scientist.
He is known for his simple lifestyle and down-to-earth personality. His legacy will stay forever, perhaps just like Mahatma Gandhi.
Using his space technology, Kalam designed prosthesis limb weighing just 400 grams which increased the mobility of disabled children tremendously. And Kalam was said to have cherished it more than launching rockets.
When he left Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of Indian President after five glorious years of being the president of India, all he had to vacate was a large collection of books and two bags with his personal belongings. He did not acquire assets during his presidency. All he acquired was the hearts of Indian.
By Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan