Shimla: Making a strong plea for a world free from nuclear weapons, former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday said "universal pressure" should be built to ensure destruction and non-proliferation of such arms.

"Universal pressure should be built for a nuclear-free world," Kalam said while addressing a gathering at the historic Gaiety Theatre.

"Nuclear energy is required for power but nuclear weapons lead to mass destruction and should be destroyed," the leader said.

At the 'Fundamental Duties to Strive Towards Excellence' colloquium, he said in response to a question that "there are more than 10,000 nuclear weapons in the world and USA and Russia have signed a treaty for reduction of nuclear weapons and it is hoped that both the countries would abide by the treaty."

Lauding the role of scientists in achieving food sufficiency and raising foodgrains production to 250 million tonnes, the leader underlined the need for a second "Green Revolution" to meet the increased demand of 340 million tones by 2020.

"We need to prepare an exhaustive plan taking into account factors like water, power, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, crops, finance, storage, warehouse and stakeholders for synchronised action to achieve the target," he said.

Kalam, who also interacted with students, called for a second freedom struggle for "economic prosperity" and said that lawyers, who played an important role in the freedom movement, must take the lead to bring about this change.

Exhorting students to strive for excellence in whatever field they choose for themselves, he asked them to "exploit their full potential, have passion to chase their dream and enhance their capabilities."

On the role of teachers and family in the upbringing of children, he said that parents should be instrumental in giving a "spiritual home" while teachers should be role models and inspire the young.

The former President asked the youth to respect and celebrate differences, and have tolerance for others opinion, culture and belief systems while displaying "honesty and integrity" in action.

Praising the role of Judiciary, he said that it has brought revolutionary changes through judgements which have addressed environmental and social issues.

He cited the use of CNG gas for automobiles and shifting of polluting industries of Delhi as examples of this.

Automobiles are emitting 30 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide and efforts should be made to develop new technologies like those used by the Delhi Metro to reduce pollution, he said.

Referring to politics, Kalam said, "There are good people in politics but electoral politics have overtaken the developmental politics across the world."

Later, he launched the Himachal Chapter of 'What Can I Give Mission' at Baddi University.

"Everyone should be prepared to give something to the society and this spirit would greatly revolutionise the mindset of the common man who would help in utilising the potential of the citizens for development of the nation," he said at the event.

Addressing the youth, Kalam urged them to enrich themselves with knowledge, create great ideas which help the nation and also devote their energy to ensure a corruption-free society.

In reply to a question on what inspired him to become a scientist, he recollected, "Box A diagram made by my teacher about 'how a bird' flies and the lucid manner he explained the art of flying motivated me to become a scientist.

"I decided to choose a career in flying, took physics as subject, did aeronautic engineering and learned space technology and started flying in space," he said.


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