By the time I had read the last page of “India 2020 : A Vision of the New Millennium”, authored by A P J Abdul Kalam, the gleam of understanding made me realise the life of this common man with brilliance of simplicity. Much later, when he addressed the youth with his wisdom, we were left with the challenge to dream. His said, “Nearly 220 million people have to be lifted by upgrading their quality of life in both rural and urban areas”. In that Interactive meet on Motivation of Youth, addressed by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India and other eminent Nobel laureates, students and research scholars from different parts of India got their minds ignited in an otherwise usual afternoon of 8th February, 2007.
Nearly 220 million people have to be lifted by upgrading their quality of life in both rural and urban areas – Dr. APJ Kalam
Nearly eight years later, his interaction with youth continued till he breathed his last, when he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM in Shillong. While paying tribute to the ‘missile man’, who was also admired as ‘People’s President’, I do remember the man who was the son of a boatman and stirred up million youths from slumber, to make them dream with their eyes wide open.
In his enlightened vision, he mentioned that knowledge, health, e-governance and rural grid should be implemented across the country to bridge the digital gap connecting rural India. Attending the Commonwealth Connects 2007, International e-Partnership Summit on 23rd March 2007, he suddenly urged that I should stop taking notes and assured that even before leaving the foyer, his speech and presentation will be emailed to me. Kalam wanted to interact and share his insight of the subject with utmost impeccable consideration. He had stuck to his commitment and a mere columnist became wealthier by few priceless astuteness.
Such was his thoughtfulness towards children and youth that he would even ignore the security protocol, to indulge with the smiling face of a child. When a young child from a school proceeded towards him, was stopped by the marshals at the outsized hall of Vigyan Bhavan, with enormous humility, Kalam embraced the child. He accepted the hand drawn greetings and returned his ever hopeful smile. That was the last time when I met him as life moved on with reminiscence of his inspired words.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, while discussing his own dreams through his concept of Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) said, ” knowledge, health, e-governance and rural grid should be implemented across the country to bridge the digital gap connecting rural India”. He had a vision of bridging gaps in this divided India and had a great faith in youths.
” knowledge, health, e-governance and rural grid should be implemented across the country to bridge the digital gap connecting rural India- Dr. Kalam
While his resonant thoughts of that last interaction remains etched, “ignited minds should create World Knowledge Platform”, we remain pledged to have faith on our dreams.