It was the children’s day out at the on-going Indian Science Congress in Jammu on Tuesday. After a day of heavy lectures, the children, participating in the five-day session, had a rollicking time when their most favourite icon Abdul Kalam addressed them in his inimitable style.

Inaugurating a special session of the Children’s Science Congress, which is held as part of the Indian Science Congress, he reiterated his pet request to children to be themselves and not try to ape others. “Every person in this world is unique in his or her own way. He or she should remain so and not try to do what someone else is doing ’’.

Acknowledging that education was certainly essential for the development of children, he, however, firmly rejected the “tendency’’ of parents and teachers to badger children to merely focus on getting top rank in their class.

The former President of India advised the children to strive to be best in whatever career they selected. “Try to be best, whether you want to be a doctor, engineer, teacher, or even a political leader or an astronaut’’.

Asking youngsters to think out of box, he recalled that Finland was able to get out a major economic crisis following the collapse of the erstwhile USSR mainly because it’s then Prime Minister sought suggestions from its citizens and finally zeroed in on a proposal by a group of students to rebuild the economy by focussing on promoting mobile telephony. The plan worked. “Nokia phones are now a household name in the world. Finland economy is now again flourishing’’.

Pointing out that great inventors were able to make their achievements only through unrelenting pursuit of their dreams, Dr. Kalam noted that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) too was able to recently launch the GSLV rocket with great success despite various hurdles, mainly because of dedicated work by a team of scientists for over two decades.