By Asmita Sarkar:
I remember meeting Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam when I was 13 years old. That day, in 2004, was the first time that I heard about his vision of India: 2020. I witnessed something rare on that day- a room full of children, sitting quietly, and listening intently to an old man. What my school mates and I took back was a view of an India that is empowering and free.
In 2010, the UN had declared 15th October as World Students’ Day as a tribute to the former Indian President for his contribution, and belief in the world’s youth.
This year, to commemorate Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s birthday, Maharashtra Government is celebrating this day as Reading Day for which they have set a budget of 6 lakh rupees. The schools have been directed to host book exhibitions and conduct a gift-a-book programme, and students have been asked to come without school bags.
The people’s President who took most pride in identifying as a teacher, though, has courted a fair share of controversies in his time. However, the man is still remembered and cherished by the community, that he had the chance of interacting with the most in his last decade.
In this video, meet the children who had the chance to meet him, and have come away with learnings that inspire them to achieve their dreams.