The charisma of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam simply swept students and teachers gathered to listen to the former President at the ‘Meeting extraordinaire' organised by G.V.G. Visalakshi College for Women on its premises on Saturday.

“A nation will be empowered only when its women population got empowered,” Mr. Kalam began his speech amidst cheers from the audience.

To achieve the goal, he advised the girl students to work with a sense of purpose and knowledge, righteousness at heart and imbibe strength from the lives of indomitable human beings from different walks of life.

He then went on to elaborate how achievement comes.

“Having an aim in life even before one turns 20 years, honing knowledge continuously, hard work and capacity to defeat the problem and succeed.”

Mr. Kalam cited the example of a Class IX tribal student whom he met during his tenure as President in 2002 who set an aim to become the first visually challenged President of India.

“To achieve the objective, he subsequently worked hard to secure 90 per cent in Class X examinations and 96 per cent in Intermediate exams and then went on to secure a seat in the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America, with a full fee waiver, where he is undergoing engineering course,” he said.

He added, “though Mr. Srikanth has been offered a lucrative job by a multi-national company upon his completion of studies, the boy still cherishes his dream of becoming the Indian president above the employment offer.”

Purity to politics

During an interaction with the students that followed, Mr. Kalam reiterated the need to have more youngsters in political arena who could give purity to politics.

Answering a query of a student, Mr. Kalam said that Indian culture would be the role model for all other countries one day.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kalam attended the foundation day celebrations at the 112-year-old Sri Venkatakrishna Higher Secondary School, Kaniyur, where he unveiled the portraits of its founders Venkitarama Iyer, Venkitakrishna Iyer and Ganapathy Subramanian.

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