New Delhi: Discovering your dreams and realizing them is what life should be about. The man who endorses this rhetoric, former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, is celebrating his 81 birthday today.

Kalam, who hails from Rameswaram district in Tamil Nadu, belonged to poor family and started working at an early age to contribute in his family's income. The humble boy contributed to the national building as an aerospace engineer and scientist before his elevation to the President of India in July,  2002.

After completing his schooling, Kalam had to distribute newspapers. In that time, his performance was average, but later he turned a bright and hardworking student with strong desire to spend hours on his studies, especially mathematics.

His journey from Rameswaram to Raisina Hill took many turns. He penned down a book — India 2020, that advocated his plans to make India a developed nation by the year 2020.
At the end of his tenure as the President of India in July 2007, Kalam expressed willingness to consider a second term in office provided there was certainty over his victory in the Presidential election.

However, few days later, Kalam decided not to contest for the top job again stating that he wanted to avoid involving Rashtrapati Bhavan in any political processes. Also, he had no required numbers to get re-elected.

In the last Presidential election too, his name once again came to the fore. Kalam’s friends have always described him as apolitical; however after serving as the 11th president of India, he graduated from that level.

Notably, Kalam has received several prestigious awards, and he is the third Indian President who had been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.


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