New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unveiled a statue of late former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to mark his 84th birth anniversary.
Speaking at the event at DRDO Bhavan here, the PM said Kalam was a 'rashtra ratna' before a `Rashtrapati`.
Modi also announced that the government has acquired land in Rameswaram, Kalam's birth place, to build a memorial of the former president to inspire future generations.
The Prime Minister said that while most people look for opportunities in life, Dr Kalam always sought fresh challenges to overcome. He recalled how he worked closely with Dr Kalam during the post-earthquake reconstruction work in Kutch.
Recalling that Dr Kalam wished to be remembered as a teacher, the Prime Minister said that the former president was well-aware of the importance of nurturing future generations. He said that on the birth anniversary for Dr Kalam, we must explore how we can encourage innovation in India.
The PM mentioned several vital sectors where innovation was essential, including cyber-security, housing for all, river-linking, enhancing agricultural productivity, blue economy, and zero-defect, zero-effect manufacturing.
Dr Kalam had not only risen himself from humble beginnings to the highest office in India, but had also built great institutions, virtually from scratch, underlined the PM. He said all of us should draw inspiration from his example, added Modi.
Also Read: APJ Abdul Kalam - Life and Times
The PM also inaugurated a photo exhibition titled as "A Celebration of Dr. Kalam's Life".
The Prime Minister also released a commemorative postal stamp on Dr Kalam.
Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Dr Harsh Vardhan were present on the occasion.
Kalam, who died in July, was a career scientist, before becoming India's 11th president, holding officer from 2002 to 2007.