July 28, 2015
Coimbatore too is in grief sharing the nation’s shock over the sudden demise of the country’s ‘Missile Man’ Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. There are many who are mourning the former President’s death as if he had been a member of their own family.
Padmanabhan Gopalan, founder of ‘No food waste’ said: “It is a black day in my life as India has lost its biggest inspiration. Many youngsters like me were inspired by his words to go after a dream career. Kalam’s motivation and encouragement has made many youngsters scale new heights in their chosen domain. All that the youngsters could say is ‘Return If Possible’ (RIP) sir.”
Recalling his meeting with Kalam a couple of months ago, Ashiq T.P., a graduate from Nehru Institute of Engineering and Technology and now working as AOCC Operator at Bengaluru International Airport said: “I cannot forget his last words – fly high and high… raise the power of youth… raise your knowledge, make a habit of learning from minute things in your day to day life.. You be the change and leader.”
He further added that he had seen him interacting with college students very closely, asking about their aspirations and urging them to work with dedication and determination to excel in their effort.
G. Subramanian, retired headmaster of Ram Nagar Suburban Higher Secondary School while speaking about his acquaintance with Dr. Kalam when he went to meet him at the Circuit House in connection with the school’s centenary celebration, said that despite his hectic schedule in attending six to seven functions in the city, he showed no reluctance to meet and interact with him for a few minutes.
For head traffic constable Rakki alias Mahesh Kumar, it was a dream come true to meet him during his visit to Coimbatore for a tree planting function. It was V. Ponraj, his scientific advisor, who got him the opportunity to converse with the great man. Rakki said that Dr. Kalam congratulated him for making short films on social themes, more so on road safety. He added that Kalam advised him to take short films on social issues to create awareness among people.
Siruthuli Managing Trustee Vanitha Mohan posted in her Facebook page thus: “Rest in peace Ayya – We in Siruthuli will miss you immensely. You have left a void that no one can fill. We seek your blessings to make your wish of us creating a water surplus Coimbatore come true.”
Meanwhile, Jamaath-e-Islami Hind Public Relations Secretary Abdul Hakkim said: “It is an unforgettable day in my life when I met him along with my family. He was very down to earth and moved freely with the children enquiring about their studies and their ambition in life. His passing away is a real loss to the entire nation.”
V. Palaniappan, journalist and PRO at Kumaraguru College of Technology while paying tribute to Kalam said that he felt great to be an alumnus of St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchi, where the ‘Missile Man’ had also studied. Kalam used to spend time browsing through books on science and technology when he visited, he recalled.