Chennai, Oct 12: Standing up to the simple and meaningful standards of life and mission set former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, his family members launched a new movement to propel his dreams and to inspire millions of his followers.
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam International Foundation (AKIF) formally took a baby step when legendary music director Isaignani Ilayaraja launched its logo in the presence of Dr Kalam's immediate family members.
At the emotionally-charged gathering at the Chinmaya Heritage Centre in Chetpet, most speakers shared some unknown side of Dr Kalam while offering their tributes.
As reported by OneIndia earlier, the Foundation's activities will be monitored by the family members with some of the associates of Dr Kalam in advisory role.
His simplicity, honest inspired millions
Illayaraja said Dr Kalam is the only Indian probably penetrated the minds of millions. "He lived in our heart and continues to do so. It was God's vara (blessings) to mankind that such a soul took birth. No film star or a politician in the world could ever match the popularity of Dr Kalam," the famous musician said.
He said he was amused to see Dr Kalam's following even in the remotest areas of the country.
"When I recently travelled to a remote village, I saw Dr Kalam's photo garlanded with his popular quotes in front of a small tea shop. People across the world admired him for his simplicity and honesty," Ilayaraja said.
The Foundation, launched under the banner of House of Kalam (former President's residence in Rameshwaram), announced a series of activities to be taken up in phases.
"Dr A P J Abdul Kalam had many dreams in his mind. We are making an honest effort to propel them one after another through silent work. We will carry forward the work Dr Kalam initiated through youngsters. We will strive hard to inspire the future generation of India through various inspiring missions. I am happy that the family members are united in spreading his mission," said Dr Naseema Maraikayar, Dr Kalam's elder brother's daughter and founder Chairperson of the Foundation.
Library movement across India soon
Striking a similarity with Dr Kalam's style of speaking was A P J M J Sheik Dawood, Dr Kalam's grand nephew, who listed out some of the plans of the Foundation.
"We plan to carry out a nation-wide campaign to set-up home libraries to inculcate the habit of reading among the young generations. We want to promote the fundamentals of basic science, which was closer to Dr Kalam's heart," Dawood said.
Speaking to OneIndia on the sidelines of the event, A P J M J Sheik Saleem, grand nephew of Dr Kalam and now a Bharatiya Janata Party member, said that the Foundation will walk the path of the former President.
"We will do silent work and all activities will be coordinated by House of Kalam," he said.
House of Kalam members G K Moinudeen and A P J M J S Nagoor Roja also shared their moving experiences interacting with the Missile Man innumerable times.
A former aide of Dr Kalam's Ponraj narrated an incident during the setting up of the missile-testing facility in Wheeler's Island, off Odisha coast.
(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia and tweets @writetake.)