Think out of the box, Kalam tells children


Be yourselves, don’t ape others, says the former President

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam interacts with a student at Children's Congress during the Indian Science Congress in Jammu on Tuesday.— Photo: NISSAR AHMAD

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam interacts with a student at Children’s Congress during the Indian Science Congress in Jammu on Tuesday.— Photo: NISSAR AHMAD

It was the children’s day out at the ongoing Indian Science Congress here on Tuesday.

After a day of lectures, children taking part in the five-day session had a rollicking time when their favourite icon Abdul Kalam addressed them in his inimitable style. Opening a special session of the Children’s Science Congress, held as part of the main event, he renewed his request to children: “Be yourselves and don’t try to ape others. Every person in this world is unique. He or she should remain so and not try to do what someone else is doing.”Education was essential for the development of children, he noted. He, however, rejected the “tendency” of parents and teachers to pressure children into focussing on top ranks. The former President advised children to strive for the best in their career. “Try to be best, whether you want to be a doctor, engineer, teacher, or even a political leader or an astronaut.”

Asking them to think out of the box, he recalled that Finland overcame a major economic crisis after the collapse of the USSR because its Prime Minister sought suggestions from the citizens to rebuild the economy and zeroed in on a proposal worked out by a group of students, which focussed on promoting mobile telephony. The plan worked. “Nokia handsets are now a household name in the world. Finland economy is again flourishing.”

Mr. Kalam said great inventors made their mark only through unrelenting pursuit of their dreams. ISRO successfully launched the GSLV surmounting hurdles because of the dedicated work of scientists for over two decades.

 

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