Recalling the yeomen services rendered to the nation, people from various walks of life showered encomiums on former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of his 89th birth anniversary here on Thursday.
Collector K Veera Raghava Rao joined the prayers, organised by the family of Mr. Kalam, at the memorial at Peikarumbu, which was thrown open to only select people since March 18 as it was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The family members led by Mr Kalam’s elder brother’s son Jainuladeen, daughter Nazeema Maraikayar, grandsons Sheik Dawood and Sheik Saleem and representatives from the Jamaat in the district offered special prayers.
Sweets were distributed to guests and saplings were planted around the memorial. Leaders from the BJP, AIADMK, DMK and Congress recalled their association with him and the services rendered by Kalam. Ponraj, who was then secretary to the President, also paid tributes at the memorial.
On behalf of the APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation, many events were conducted and students participated in them.
The Dalai Lama addressed the foundation members on the theme ‘Planet Earth – working together for a peaceful world’ and recollected how Dr Kalam had been an inspiration to the youth not only in India but across the globe. The powerful oratory, hard work and simple living practised by the late President were recalled by speakers.
The webinar enlightened on the significance of peace and spirituality in order to foster unity. The webcasts were available in 14 different languages including Russian, Korean, Japanese, German, Portugese and French, among others, Mr. Sheik Saleem said.
The members of Nehru Yuva Kendra from Madurai had undertaken a cycle rally creating awareness among the people of the need to acquire knowledge, which was close to Dr Kalam. They reached the memorial marking the anniversary and distributed pamphlets about Dr Kalam en route.
Many educational institutions across southern districts conducted many events, garlanded the portrait of Dr Kalam and distributed prizes to winners of competitions.
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