India should attain complete economic independence on the basis of development to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, according to former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

“Development in India has always been lopsided in terms of rural and urban areas and bridging the gap is crucial, he said, inaugurating the ‘Kaviperarasu’ Vairamuthu endowment at Madurai Kamaraj University here last night.

He suggested that 100 crore saplings be planted throughout the country to ensure sustenance of the environmment. This could easily be achieved if each citizen plants one and takes a pledge to plant 10 more, he said.

Later, speaking as chief guest at the centenary celebrations of P.K.N. Matriculation school at Thirumangalam near here, he said a knowledge revolution can be achieved by setting up libraries in each home and students spend at least one hour a day, reading books.