06 October, 2013

Address and interaction with the students of PGP Schools Namakkal, Oct 3 2013

Published bywww.abdulkalam.com

Youth and Indomitable Spirit

With courage in my mind,
indomitable spirit engulfed me,
With indomitable spirit
in mind and action,
I regained lost confidence
I will win, win and win.
I am delighted to participate in the PGP Schools, Namakkal. I greet the chairman, Principals, teachers, students, parents, distinguished guests and special invitees. When I am seeing many students from PGP Educational institutions at Namakkal, I would like share few thoughts on the topic "Youth and Indomitable Spirit".

Criteria for achievement for youth

Dear friends, When I see you young friends, I thought of sharing an ancient poem and modified to suit the occasion. Can you all repeat with me?
Wings to Fly
I am born with potential.
I am born with goodness and trust.
I am born with ideas and dreams.
I am born with greatness.
I am born with confidence.
I am born with wings.
I am not meant for crawling,
So I won't, I have wings,
I will fly, fly and fly"

My message to you, young friends, is that education gives you wings to fly. Achievement comes out of fire in our sub-conscious mind that "I will win". So, each one of you assembled here and elsewhere, will have "Wings of Fire". The Wing of Fire will indeed lead to knowledge which will make you to fly as a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a scientist, or a teacher, or a political leader, or a bureaucrat or a diplomat or anything you want to be.

How does achievement come? There are four proven steps; having an aim in life before 20 years of age, acquiring knowledge continuously, hard work towards the aim and perseverance to defeat the problem and succeed. Now you know, how the unique personalities got evolved and also you realize how to transform yourself into unique you. And above all, what you need a will power and confidence, that you can achieve great deeds.

Unique You

Dear friends, Look up, what do you see, the light, the electric bulbs. Immediately, our thoughts go to the inventor Thomas Alva Edison, for his unique contribution towards the invention of electric bulb and his electrical lighting system.

When you hear the sound of aero plane going over your house, whom do you think of? Wright Brothers proved that man could fly of course at heavy risk and cost.

Whom does the telephone remind you of? Of course, Alexander Graham Bell.

When everybody considered a sea travel as an experience or a voyage, a unique person questioned during his sea travel from United Kingdom to India. He was pondering on why the horizon where the sky and sea meet looks blue? His research resulted in the phenomena of scattering of light. Of course, Sir CV Raman was awarded Nobel Prize.

Do you know an Indian Mathematician who did not have formal higher education but had inexhaustible spirit and love for mathematics which took him to contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research - some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians' efforts to establish formal proofs. He was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Prof G H Hardy. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered a great mathematician for the world. This mathematician was of-course Srinivasa Ramanujan for whom every number was a divine manifestation.

In the engineering field, contributions of the towering personalities like Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya were remarkable even in our time. Some of them bear testimony even today, like Krishnaraja Sagar Dam and industries in Mysore.

Do you know about a great human being with a spirit of service, who also won a Nobel prize for her contributions? She said and practiced, "Give give and give, until it hurts". She is
Mother Teresa.

Friends, there was a great scientific lady who is known for discovering radiation. She won not one, but two Nobel prizes, one for physics and another for chemistry. Who is she? She is Madam Curie. Madam Curie discovered radium and she was doing research on the effect of radiation on human system. The same radiation which she discovered, affected her and she sacrificed her life for removing the pain of human life.

Friends, I have, so far, met 15 million youth in a decade?s time. I learnt, "every youth wants to be unique, that is, YOU! But the world all around you, is doing its best, day and night, to make you just "everybody else". In the home, dear young fellows you are asked by your parents to be like neighours children for scoring good marks. When you go to school, your teachers says "why not you become like the first five rankers in the class". Wherever you go, they are saying "you have to somebody else or everybody else". Now dear young friends, how many of you would like to be unique yourself.

The challenge, my young friends, is that you have to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can ever imagine to fight; and never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place, that is, a UNIQUE YOU! Friends what will be your tools to fight this battle.

How to make impossible possible?

Dear students, it is said, "History has proven that those who dare to imagine the impossible are the ones who break all human limitations. In every field of human endeavor, whether science, medicine, sports, the arts, or technology, the names of the people who imagined the impossible and achieved are engraved in our history. By breaking the limits of their imagination, they changed the world."

Let us see a few creative minds who made impossible possible by their indomitable spirit. Human flight is nothing but creativity of human mind and it undergoes several struggles to achieve excellence. In 1895, a great well-known scientist Lord Kelvin, who was the President of Royal Society of London said, "anything heavier than air cannot fly, and cannot be flown." Within a decade, Wright Brothers proved man could fly in 1903.

On the successful completion of Moon Mission in 1969, Von Braun, a very famous rocket designer, who built Saturn-V, to launch the capsule with astronauts and made moon walk a reality, in 1975 said "If I am authorized, I will remove the word impossible".

In ancient days, Ptolemaic astronomy is a widely used system in calculating the dynamics of various stars and planets. Assumption by then was that the earth is flat. What a scientific struggle had to take place to prove that the earth is spherical in shape orbiting around the sun. The three great astronomers Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler had to give a new dimension to the world of astronomy. Today we take it for granted that earth is a globe, orbiting around the sun, and the sun orbits in the Milky Way. All the technological advancements we have today are the outcome of scientific exploration of scientists of earlier centuries. At no time, man was beaten by problems. He strives continuously to subjugate impossibility and then succeeds.

Dear friends, what lessons do we learn from all these achievements? According to the laws of aerodynamics the bumble bee should never be able to fly. Because of the size, weight, and shape of its body in relationship to the total wing span, flying is scientifically impossible. The bumble bee, being ignorant of scientific theory, goes ahead and flies anyway. Because it wants to fly and it is flying. I would like the youth assembled here to take a lesson from these examples and work to make everything possible, because they are unique.

I can do it

Friends, when I was the President of India, I met the group of tribal students from Lead India 2020 movement on 28 Aug 2006. I asked all of them one question: "What you want to become?" Out of many responses, one visually challenged boy studying IX class got up. His name is Srikanth, he answered me "I will become the first visually Challenged President of India". I was very happy to see his vision and ambition. Small aim is a crime. Hence, I congratulated him to realize his vision and told him to work for realizing the vision.

Thereafter he worked hard and got 90% in Xth class and 96 % in intermediate and he set a goal to study Engineering in MIT, Boston USA. His relentless hard work not only secured seat but he got full fee waiver from MIT, Boston. Srikanth?s achievement has brought changes in many change agents of Lead India 2020 and inspired to set high vision. The training he took under the initiative of Lead India 2020 has set a high vision for him. Seeing this impact of Lead India 2020 training, Lead India 2020 movement and GE volunteers have funded Mr. Srikanth for his travel to USA. Today he is pursuing his studies at MIT, Boston. When the GE offered him a job on his completion of graduation, he told them that he would certainly come back to GE, if he couldn?t become the President of India. What a confidence that boy has amidst of difficulty and the challenges in his life by being visually challenged.

Recently, when I met the physically challenged students meet organised by Tamilnadu Govt and Lead India 2020 at Coimbatore, I had a chance to meet Mr. Srikanth and his teacher who brought him up. I found in him, he is doing 4th year in his graduation of B.S Computer Science and Management. Within this 4 years, he has started one company which produces consumer packaging items using bio-degradable materials and other other social iniative that he started is a skill development training to the youth. He gave an extempore speech on how to overcome the disability and to have a strong mind and will power to overcome the challenges and succeed.

The message is, my young friends, it doesn't matter who you are, if you have a vision and determination to achieve that vision, you will certainly achieve.
"When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you"

Friends, teachers create beautiful minds. Beautiful minds are creative and many times with indomitable spirit.

Will-power can defeat any problem.

Friends, recently, an incident which took place in Harali village, Kolhapur District in Maharashtra where I met over 2000 of students hailing from different schools. When I was about to get down from the stage after finishing my lecture and interaction, a young boy about 18 years of age, held in the arms of his mother cried to meet me. I called both of them on to the stage. The polio affected boy could not walk, but he was strong in will power. He told me, "My name is Shailesh and I am from this village Harali. You told us to have a dream. I am here to tell you my dream. I am a chess player. I will work very hard and someday I will become a Grand Master". I wished Shailesh all the best, who has a strong will power and said 'You will succeed. Definitely, God is with you.' Dear friends, the message is the "Will power can defeat any problem".

Indomitable Spirit

Let me now recite a poem which I have written on the Indomitable Spirit. This poem was composed during a flight from New Delhi to Bangalore on 28th August 2010. This poem emanated as an answer to a number of questions posed to me from the youth on various issues and problems like, poverty, disorder in the family, invasion on Indian culture, mistrust, corruption, violence, terrorism, distrust, and fear that are prevailing among the youth. This poem is mainly to address the fears among the youth.

Indomitable Spirit
I was swimming in the sea,
Waves came one after the other
I was swimming and swimming to reach my destination.
But one wave, a powerful wave, overpowered me;
It took me along in its own direction,
I was pulled long and along.
When I was about to lose amidst the sea wave power,
One thought flashed to me, yes, that is courage
Courage to reach my goal, courage to defeat the powerful force and succeed;
With courage in my mind, indomitable spirit engulfed me,
With indomitable spirit in mind and action,
I regained lost confidence
I can win, win and win
Strength came back to me, overpowered the sea wave
I reached the destination, my mission.

Dear friends, With the indomitable spirit with you, you can win, win and reach the destination.

Knowledge equation

Dear students, what you will acquire during your studies in your schools, a great friend is accompanying you. Who is that friend? That friend is - knowledge. Now, I am going to give the knowledge equation.
Knowledge = Creativity + Righteousness + Courage
"Learning gives creativity
Creativity leads to thinking
Thinking provides knowledge
Knowledge makes you great"

The next component of knowledge is righteousness. Righteousness is described in a divine hymn.

Where there is righteousness in the heart
There is beauty in the character.
When there is beauty in the character,
there is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home.
There is an order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
There is peace in the world.

Now the question is: How do we inculcate the righteousness in the heart. In my opinion, there are three sources which can build a youth with righteousness in the heart. One is mother, second is father in a spiritual environment and the third and the most important is the teacher, particularly primary school teacher.

The third component is courage, which is defined as follows:

Courage to think different,
Courage to invent,
Courage to travel into an unexplored path,
Courage to discover the impossible,
Courage to combat the problems and succeed,
are the unique qualities of the youth.
As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions.

Wherefrom you will acquire knowledge? Home, good books, teachers and teaching environment, coming into contact with good human beings, teaching websites in internet. When the schools teach the students to use the knowledge with creativity, righteousness and courage, nation will have large number of empowered and enlightened citizens, which is vital for the growth of the individual, growth of the family, growth of nation and promotion of peace in the world.


Friends, finally I would like to ask you, what would you like to be remembered for? You have to evolve yourself and shape your life. You should write it on a page. That page may be a very important page in the book of human history. And you will be remembered for creating that one page in the history of the nation ? whether that page is the page of invention, the page of innovation or the page of discovery or the page of creating societal change or a page of removing the poverty or the page of finding new technologies in energy or astronomy. I will be happy if you could write this page and mail it to me (apj@abdulkalam.com).

With these words, I greet all the students and faculty members of the PGP institutions to achieve success in their mission of education and train the students and youth to realize their inner potential and maximize their creativity, so that India can become a knowledge society well before the year 2020.

May God Bless you.

Oath for the Youth
1. A Great power is within me. With my aim of life, I will achieve the spirit of success

2. I will have a goal and work hard to achieve that goal. I realize that small aim is a crime.

3. I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity.

4. I will be a good member of my family, a good member of the society, a good member of the nation and a good member of the world.

5. I will always try to save or better someone's life, without any discrimination of caste, creed, language religion or state. Wherever I am, a thought will always come to my mind. That is "What can I give?"

6. I will always protect and enhance the dignity of every human life without any bias.

7. I will always remember the importance of time. My motto will be "Let not my winged days, be spent in vain".

8. I will always work for clean planet Earth and clean energy.

9. As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.

10. My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.

By, Dr. APJ Abdulkalam