Pei Karumbu (Rameshwaram), Sept 04: The family members of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam have begun the 40th day (after demise) religious ceremonies in the temple town of Rameshwaram here on Friday.
The ceremonies had a quiet start with Dr Kalam's 99-year-old elder brother A P J M Maraikayar leading the family to Dr Kalam's kabar (burial place) in the morning, situated at Pei Karambu grounds.
He was accompanied by Sheik Saleem, Dr Kalam's grandson and the family spokesperson. The family members did prayers at the kabar along with Jamaat representatives.
The former President's body was laid to rest here on July 30, following his demise on July 27. Policemen guarding the site told OneIndia that the visitors have been thronging the kabar round-the-clock.
"We are expecting a huge rush today and during the week-end
following Teacher's Day. All efforts are being put in place to
ensure that none litters the place," says Rameshwaram Deputy
Superintendent of Police (DSP) B Muthuramalingam.
The kabar is fenced from all sides now with a temporary roof too in place. The police also have erected barricades on all sides to prevent visitors getting too close to the kabar.
A police out-post has been set up at a striking distance from the kabar. Temporary drinking water facility too is in place now.
"We are now getting ready for the main prayers scheduled during the first half of the day, following a lunch (vegetarian) being arranged for invitees and all those attending the event," says Sheik Saleem.
The family members are expected to make some formal announcements today evening, regarding the setting up of a possible Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Foundation headquartered at Rameshwaram.
The family members had met some of the Union ministers recently to discuss the modalities of having a permanent memorial for Dr Kalam in New Delhi.
As this report goes live, hundreds of schoolchildren were seen lining up in front of House of Kalam, the residence of for President, now converted into a museum.
"People have been waiting since morning and many have expressed their desire to meet Kalam Sir's brother (Maraikayar) as well," says House of Kalam Manager Kathiravan.