Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam encouraged the women of Ethiraj College to achieve in their professional lives and consider Developmental politics.

“When women are empowered, society and stability gets assured,” he said at a ceremony dedicating Ethiraj College's second campus to the student community on Friday.

Taking a straw poll of which students were interested in research, finance, civil services, politics, diplomacy and entrepreneurship, he stressed that the four steps to achieving greatness were to fix an aim by the age of 20, to acquire knowledge, to work hard and to persevere to overcome problems.

He pointed to the role models of Rohini Devi of Defence Research and Development Organisation for her development of advance process technology of composite materials to withstand heat, and Professor Vijayalakshmi Rabindranath for her top class research on the brain.

He also highlighted the importance of compassion in leaders, who act as advocates for the poor without voices. Mother Teresa who tended for 40 years to the needs of the poor in Kolkata and Sister Antonia, who prevented a riot in a Mexico prison by standing between prisoners and police, were fine examples, he said.

Together with Mr.Kalam, 6000 of Ethiraj College's students voted to bring a change in the life of 100 women in education, employment and healthcare.

The new campus at Ethiraj College, constructed at cost of Rs.18 crore, has 95 classrooms, 10 laboratories, a 250 seat mini auditorium and a multimedia studio. It will house business studies and IT courses. It is expected to benefit 4,000 students.