New Delhi: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, whose journey from hawking newspapers to being the one of the most loved presidents of India, can never be forgotten; neither his smiling face and his unique hairstyle.
People in large numbers had lined up the streets of Rameswaram to catch a last glimpse of Kalam, who died on July 27 in Meghalaya's capital Shillong after suffering a massive heart attack during a lecture he was delivering to students of Indian Institute of Management.
The mourners are sharing a picture of young APJ Abdul Kalam with family on Facebook. Their love for the 'People's President' has made this picture gone viral. His smile at the age of 83 was as charming and adorable as it was when he was just a kid. What say!
Born in Rameswaram on October 15, 1931, Kalam joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1958.
He moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), where he was project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India a member of the exclusive space club.
He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration.
He rejoined DRDO in 1982, and planned the programme that produced a number of successful missiles, earning him the "Missile Man" nickname.
Kalam took up the responsibility of developing indigenous weapons as the chief executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of Agni and Prithvi missiles.
From 1992 to 1997, Kalam was scientific advisor to the defence minister, and later served as principal scientific advisor (1999-2001) to the government with the rank of cabinet minister.
Kalam played a prominent role in the country's 1998 nuclear weapons tests, Pokhran-II, which made him a national hero.
The rocket and missile scientist was awarded the country's highest civilian honour - the Bharat Ratna - in 1997.