Kalam exhorts youth for righteousness, 2020 vision

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New York, Mar 31 (UNI) Former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam has urged the youth of Indian origin in America to follow the path of rightousness and help make the world a better place by the year 2020.

''Our youth power is our greatest asset. You're our greatest asset,'' he told a gathering of more than 500 people, comprising many younger Indian-Americans. Only three people can instill that righteousness: father, mother and elementary schoolteacher,'' remarked the former president.

He called upon both countries to come closer to ensure a new world order based upon values.

''Let the US and India join together to pursue this world order grounded in morals, values and justice,'' he urged adding ''If we do this, it is possible to achieve global development by 2020. It's possible and we just must believe.'' The auditorium in which, the former president addressed, was full.

And the overflowing audience was accommodated in the basement of the auditorium of a Hindu temple where they were able to watch Mr Kalam speak live on the TV screens.

Mr Kalam said his trip has been ''delightful.'' He recalled that America as a nation was born from millions of immigrants. Over the past week, he addressed the Wharton School in Pennsylvania, spoke to reporters in New York and interacted with community organisations.

More than 30 Indian-American associations came together to organise the felicitation function for the former Indian president.

He referred to Shivani Sud, who the former president met at Wharton. Shivani won the Intel Science Talent Search 2008 competition prize worth 100,000 dollars.

She is doing research on cancer. That's the greatest type of work you can do. You only get happiness through giving. Remember, professional work achievement is not enough to achieve true happiness, the former president said.

Mr Kalam recalled India's economic hardships in early 1990s and elaborated the rapid success made by the country since then.

''Remember, nothing is impossible. If you can learn anything from the lesson of 1991 till today, it's that we must imbibe the confidence that I can do it! India will do it! If we do this, India will see prosperity and peace,'' he said.

The former nuclear scientist, who won the nation's highest honour Bharat Ratna, appreciated the Indian-Americans for their success in various fields.

''I recollect the famous saying of Avayyar, the great Tamil writer: Mission of life should be to earn knowledge and wealth even if it needs crossing the oceans,'' he remarked.

''That is our great culture. I am delighted to see all of you performing well in your professions crossing multiple oceans,'' added the former Indian president who is called the people's president.

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