MY CHILDHOOD (DR. AVUL PAKIR JAINULABDEEN ABDUL KALAM)
Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, was bom on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. He was responsible for the evoluțion of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSIV configuration and for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam's books - "Wings of Fire", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My Journey" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India" have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. Dr. Kalamreceived honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. He was awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002.
Read the following extract from Wings of Fire, where the former President of India speaks of his childhood.
I was bom into a middle - class Tamil family in the island town of Rameswaram in the erstwhile Madras State. My father, Jainulabdeen , had neither much formal education nor much wealth; despite these disadvantages, he possessed great innate wisdom and a true generosity of spirit. He had an ideal helpmate in my mother, Ashiamma. I do not recall the exact number of people she fed every day, but I am quite certain that far more outsiders ate with us than all the members of our own family put together. I was one of the children - a short boy with rather undistinguished looks, born to tall and handsome parents. We lived in our ancestral house, which was built in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was a fairly large pucca house, made of limestone and brick, on the Mosque Street in Rameswaram. My austere father used to avoid all inessential comforts and luxuries. However, all necessities were provided for, in terms of food, medicine or clothes. In fact, I would say mine was a very secure childhood, both materially and emotionally.