The flight of seabirds at the Rameswaram beach had a big role in launching the career of former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a renowned aero science engineer.

Speaking after inaugurating the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Bishop Cotton School here on Sunday, he recalled his teacher Shiva Subrahmanya Iyer, who had taken his students to the beachside back in 1941 for a live demonstration on how birds fly and change direction. “I then decided that my future career would be with reference to flying and flight systems,” said Mr. Kalam, underlining the role of a good teacher in shaping a pupil’s future.

He urged a large number of teachers, students and alumni of the 150-year-old school to win the battle against the world that was keen on “making you just like anybody else” and ensure that each person shaped himself or herself as a unique being.

Mr. Kalam urged parents to start a library with a minimum of 10 books and ensure that it grew. He said that children, on the other hand, had a role in ensuring that every home was transparent and corruption-free. Dr. Kalam unveiled the project of a museum and archives on the school premises and also laid the foundation stone for a new block named Sesquicentenary Block to mark the beginning of the 150th anniversary celebrations.

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