President A P J Abdul Kalam's Farewell Speech
He is a man of many sobriquets. From missile man to people's President to rocket scientist, outgoing President A P J Abdul Kalam who remitted office on Tuesday evening has been lovingly referred to by many such names.
Five eventful years
When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
Friends, I am delighted to address you all, in the country and those living abroad, after working with you and completing five beautiful and eventful years in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Today, it is indeed a thanks-giving occasion. I would like to narrate, how I enjoyed every minute of my tenure enriched by the wonderful association from each one of you, hailing from different walks of life, be it politics, science and technology, academics, arts, literature, business, judiciary, administration, local bodies, farming, home makers, special children, media and above all from the youth and student community who are the future wealth of our country. During my interaction at Rashtrapati Bhavan in
Accelerate development: Aspiration of the youth Empower villages Mobilise rural core competence for competitiveness Seed to Food: Backbone for agricultural growth Defeat problems and succeed Overcome problems through partnership Courage in combating calamities Connectivity for societal transformation Defending the nation: Our pride and Youth movement for Developed India 2020 Now let me share with you each of the messages. Accelerate Development: Aspiration of the youth While there were many significant events during my tenure, a question from a little girl Anukriti of Sri Sathya Sai Jagriti Vidya Mandir School, of Darwa village from Haryana, during children's visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 22, 2006, rings in my mind ever after. Anukriti asked me "why
Empower Villages Friends, I recall my visit to Nagaland on October 26, 2002, soon after my assuming office as President. It was a unique experience for me at Khuzama village to meet tribal village council members and discuss with them the village progress and the dream of village citizens. I was very happy to see the empowered village council functioning with financial powers and taking decisions. I saw a prosperous village with fruits and vegetables production. However, there is a need for providing physical connectivity in Nagaland through quality roads for enabling faster movement of products from villages to the market. That meeting gave me a powerful message about the transformation, which can take place to the 6,00,000 villages of
Mobilising rural core competence for competitiveness Now I would like to talk about the initiative of Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women, Vallam, Tanjore of Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) complex involving 65 villages with a population of 3 lakh. This includes provision of three connectivities - physical, electronic and knowledge - leading to economic connectivity. Periyar PURA has health care centers, primary to post graduate level education and vocational training centers. This has resulted in large-scale employment generation and creation of number of entrepreneurs with the active support of 1000 self-help groups. Two hundred acres of wasteland has been developed into a cultivable land. The villagers are busy in cultivation, planting Jatropha, herbal and medicinal plants, power generation using biomass, food processing and above all running marketing centers. It provides a sustainable economic development model for the whole region. During the last eight months, people of Periyar PURA villages technologically supported by Periyar Maniammai College of Engineering for Women have worked with experts from Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on various products, for which core competence and raw material are available in Thanjavur district. They developed internationally competitive prototypes for 55 life style products with support of JETRO specialists and feedback from exhibitions at
Seed to Food: Backbone for agricultural growth Let me now share with you, the enriching experience I had, while meeting more than 6,000 farmers from different States and
Defeat the problems and succeed On the evening of February 24, 2007, at
Overcome the impact of disaster through partnership I had the opportunity to experience the Indomitable Spirit of the people and children of Jammu & Kashmir even as they were just recovering from the devastating earthquake in 2005. I visited Urusa village on November 26, 2005, which has been adopted, by the Western Air Command, Air Force for providing relief and medical aid to the residents of that area. When I went there, I found that the school building had been severely damaged. I met all the school children and the village citizen of Urusa. The villagers apprised me of their losses and had all praise for Army and Air Force role in rescue and relief operations along with state government. I appreciate the courage of the people of Urusa in defeating their problems. They have actually become the master of the problem rather than allowing problems to become their master. Despite the severe loss due to the earthquake, the children and the members of the village participated in the relief operation with the Armed Forces bravely and were smiling when I went to meet them. They interacted with me and said that the school was functional in the temporary tents. Here, I also witnessed the participation of acting Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir along with State Government authorities in on-the-spot settlement of relief grants to be provided to the victims whose houses had been damaged in the earthquake. I have experienced many such acts of courage from our citizens when faced with severe challenges.
Courage in combating calamities In 2005, I met the Tribal Council Leaders, students, children of Chuckchucha village during my visit to Car Nicobar Islands. While various reconstruction and rehabilitation activities were in progress, during the discussions with the members of tribal council, I realized the unique trait among the Car-Nicobar islanders. Even though there were many human losses due to the Tsunami of December 26, 2004, the tribal islanders had taken possession of affected victims as their children and there is nothing like orphanage in
We are the children of Sea waves,
Sea waves are my friends.
When they become angry,
Sea waves give the challenges.
God has given the courage,
To challenge the sea waves.
And we will succeed,
We will succeed
With Almighty's grace.
All the members who were gathered in the village sang the poem with me and exhibited lots of courage and enthusiasm even though they had gone through severe suffering during the Tsunami.
Connectivity for societal transformation I addressed the Pan African Parliament on September 16, 2004, at
Defending the nation: Our pride I visited KUMAR in Siachen Glacier located at 17,000 feet altitude held by the Indian Army, had a memorable underwater journey in INS Sindhurakshak and flew in a Sukhoi-30 fighter experiencing 2.5 g. In these three experiences, I personally felt proud of our ever vigilant Soldiers, Sailors and Air Warriors performing their tasks beyond the call of their duty even in the most adverse circumstances natural and man made. During the last five years, I had an opportunity to present colours to many regiments, participate in number of passing out parades, meet the troops who were going to undertake peace missions and interact with the family members of our Defence Forces. Our Defence Forces are in a beautiful mission. When the nation sleeps during night, Members of our Defence teams are awake to guard us and remain vigilant to counter any threat. The Nation cherishes the valour, commitment and devotion to duty of our Defence Forces. Similarly, I had opportunities to interact with members of our para-military forces, central and state police personnel including internal security forces who are making immense contribution in augmenting the safety and security of our citizens under difficult conditions.
Youth movement for Developed India 2020 Recently, in
Conclusion I was touched by the variety of Indian panorama, emotional content of the tune, cultural diversity and unity of minds in the vast land of ours. I have cited these examples just to give a glimpse of the richness of our tradition and effort being taken by different agencies to preserve it. There are also many new adventures by institutions and individuals. I have experienced many of them and learnt a lot about my country and our people. Even while pursuing our economic growth, we need to do a lot to preserve the rich and diverse treasures of our culture and civilisation. It is our duty for our future generations. This has to be done in a much larger scale through countrywide participation of multiple institutions. Our country is blessed with natural resources, has shown considerable progress in the last sixty years, and above all we have hard working people particularly the power of the 540 million youth of the country. Every sector of our country has given me the confidence that
When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are,
Anything your heart desires,
Will come to you
This poem is true to all of us, and particularly for our youth and if they aim great, I am sure they will reach close to the target or the target. My dear citizens, let us resolve to continue to work for realising the missions of developed India 2020 with the following distinctive profile.
- A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
- A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
- A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.
- A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
- A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.
- A Nation where the best of health care is available to all.
- A Nation where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
- A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
- A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
- A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership. Finally let me thank each one of you for showering your love and affection on me throughout the last five years by your cooperation and support.
Dear Citizens, I conclude my address by sharing with you my mission in life which is to bring connectivity between billion hearts and minds of the people of
May God bless you. Jai hind