The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, said here on Monday that the Earth, which was rapidly exhausting its resources, would not remain an independent entity in the future, but form a “single economic entity” with the Moon and Mars.

He said this after inaugurating the Children’s Science Congress organised as part of the 97th Indian Science Congress on the Kerala University campus at Kariavattom.

“The future generations will look at the Earth, the Moon and the Mars as a single economic and strategic entity. This will be possible by developing scientific knowledge in a very unique solution to the crisis of water, energy and infrastructure faced by humanity in different parts of the world.”

Dr. Kalam said that by detecting water on the moon for the first time through the Chandrayaan mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had found the answer to an issue that was evading the collective scientific wisdom of all the space-faring nations for the last five decades.

He urged the delegates to the Children’s Science Congress to follow the example and use science to prove other impossible things possible.

“There are many impossible things which have been proved to be possible by great human scientific minds. You must dream to be like them. But dream alone is not sufficient. You must also acquire knowledge, work hard and have perseverance,” he said.

Dr. Kalam said the purpose of conducting an annual science congress was to nurture talent which could find scientific solutions to the problems faced by mankind. To inspire the young minds, Mr. Kalam narrated the story of eminent scientists who made a difference to people’s lives through their singular dedication.

As many as 3,500 students from different parts of the country are participating in the three-day Children’s Science Congress. Dr. Kalam also interacted with the student-delegates of the Children’s Science Congress after the inaugural function.

Answering students’ queries, he said the future scientists could contribute to the development of the country by improving the environment, taking literacy to the corners of the country and enquiring about the welfare of the aged.

To a question on what motivated him to continue working enthusiastically at his age, Dr. Kalam said it was his hope to see India as a developed nation. “I want to see India as an economically and socially developed nation by 2010. It is this hope that keeps me going,” he said.

Dr. Kalam said the stature of scientists could be upgraded in society by forming a science cadre, which could also attract more youngsters to the field of science.

He said one of the reasons why the Copenhagen summit failed was because the talks on climate were not combined with discussions on the power policy of nations. Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Dr. Kalam said he wanted to be known as a teacher.

Asked who the proverbial ‘woman behind his success’ was, he said it was his mother.

The former ISRO chairman, G. Madhavan Nair, presided over the inaugural function. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director P.S. Veeraraghavan and University of Kerala Vice-Chancellor A. Jayakrishnan also spoke at the function. Dr. Kalam led the ‘Oath for youth’ at the end of the programme. ISCA young scientist awards were also presented at the function.

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