Rameswaram: A sea of humanity, especially school and college students, have thronged to catch a last glimpse of former president APJ Abdul Kalam before his last rites on Thursday.
The body of the 'missile man' is expected to arrive here Wednesday afternoon and his remains will be buried at Pakarambu near Mandapam, about 12 km from here.
Recalling his humble beginnings and his rise to the country's highest office of President, many among the crowd remembered how he had inspired them to dream big and strive to achieve it.
"The positive attitude of former president Kalam and his words of encouragement after a setback in my college studies spurred me to have a positive outlook in life and pursue higher studies," said Deepak, who now works for an IT firm in Chennai.
People also recalled his efforts in bringing broad gauge train services upto Rameswaram, his work for afforestation and for providing solar power to remote areas.
Others remembered how he had advised them to pursue science in school and college and do their bit for the scientific development of the nation.
The former president will be given a state funeral with full military honours.
State Minister O Panneerselvam inspected the funeral arrangements are being made. He is part of a team of seven ministers deputed by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to represent her and the state government at the funeral.
Jayalalithaa had said she would not attend the last rites owing to her health condition.
Kalam had collapsed during a lecture at the IIM, Shillong and died of cardiac arrest on July 27.