A. B. SUDHINDRA
They asked many questions and Mr.Kalam patiently answered them all.
The former president’s charm continues. His legendary and much spoken about equation with children was evident at a programme held in The International School Bangalore (TISB) recently. As soon as he entered the auditorium, he drew huge applause from the large gathering of children. After formally inaugurating Vivum 2007, an interschool cultural and literary festival hosted by TISB, Mr. Kalam did what he knows best. In his address, he evoked a passion to excel and told the gathering to dream big.
He began his address by giving the definition of a developed nation.
The audience were a curious lot. Children posed many questions to the former president. To a query, what we as students should do to improve our nation from Mythili Venkataraman of class IX, Mr. Kalam said that they should first concentrate on excelling in academics. “Keep your surroundings clean, which will keep your mind clean. Teach the uneducated masses to read and write during your weekends,” he said.
Vishal Chandramouli of class VII asked what India’s greatest achievements were. Mr. Kalam answered that India has made huge strides in many sectors.
“Now only 22 per cent of the population is living below poverty line, whereas in 1955, it was 45 per cent.
This is a great achievement. We have made huge strides in infrastructure development and connectivity too,” he said.
Principal Matthew Sullivan in his introductory remark said that Vivum includes competitions in art, business, computer science, dance, drama, fashion, language and literature, debate, music, science, photography and sport. Sixteen schools from all across the country participated in it.
Chairman of National Public Schools K. P. Gopalkrishna, Dean Santhamma Gopalkrishna and Dean Bindu Hari were present.