Abdul Kalam’s day out with children

VIRUDHUNAGAR: Former president A P J Abdul Kalam inaugurated Meenakshi Mission PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) here on Wednesday, an initiative of a group of institutions comprising Meenakshi Mission Hospital, Mahasemam Trust, SMILE and I-Grandee, at Thonugal village, Virudhunagar district.

He also dedicated a Mobile Dialysis Van contributed by the Lions District 324B3, and distributed micro-finance loans to five Mahasemam members and certificates to another five members under the “Goat Scheme” of the Trust. His age and the delayed arrival from Chennai due to a storm notwithstanding, he was at his inimitable best at the event, administering pledges to children who had waited patiently in large numbers to have a glimpse of and listen to their hero.

While they thoroughly enjoyed the enthusiasm with which he spoke and responded to his frequent administering of pledges, guests, including Tamil actor Vivek and Virudhunagar Collector Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan too could be seen laughing and smiling at his humorous speech that was laced with advices for the children.

He also made a comment with an intended pun while administering a pledge on refraining from alcohol and gambling saying, “This is a bit difficult.” His reference was apparently to the ever-increasing sale of alcohol in TN and the prevalence of gambling.

Dr Kalam told the children that they should have an aim in their life, apart from possessing attributes like being fearless and working hard to achieve their aim. He also quoted from an advice given to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi by his mother that if he could bring about a change in the life of at least one person, his birth as a human being would be purposeful.

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