Paying rich tributes to former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called the departed leaders a “Great Statesman”. Ki-Moon further said that the outpouring of grief around the world following his death is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his Presidency.
In a special gesture of respect, the UN Chief visited the Permanent Mission of India to the UN situated in New York on Friday to sign the condolence book placed there following the death of the 11th President of India. The former head of the state passed away on July 27.
Expressing his deepest condolences, the UN Secretary General, in his message wrote, “The outpouring of grief around the world is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his Presidency. The UN joins the people of India in sending our deepest condolences for this great statesman. May he rest in peace and eternity”.
The passing away of Dr. Kalam, also known as ‘People’s President’ had led to a nationwide grief with top leaders to school students to artists wishing an emotional farewell. The Union Government had declared a seven-day state mourning in the honour of late Dr. Kalam.
While the incumbent government of his home state Tamil Nadu too initiated an honour in order to preserve his legacy. The Tamil Nadu government, on Friday declared that an award would be constituted in his name and his birthday, which falls on 15th October, will be observed as “Youth Renaissance Day”.
Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had even issued directions to constitute the ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ for persons who strive towards promoting scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare and that the award would be given away during Independence Day every year. The award will carry an 8 gram gold medal, Rs 5 lakh in cash and a citation and would be presented to a person hailing from the state, she said, adding it would be given away from this year.
“Abdul Kalam always wanted to remain a teacher. He was a driving force behind the growth of youth by his enlightening remarks that struck a chord with students,” Tamil Nadu chief minister said.
Dr. Kalam was a multi-faceted personality, often described as ‘Missile Man’ of India. He became the President of the Republic in July 2002.
The former President passed away on Monday evening, July 27 in Shillong following a cardiac arrest at the age of 83. He was in Shillong to deliver a lecture to the campus students of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM). He was buried at his native place Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with the full state honours on Thursday, with thousands of people attending his funeral.
(With inputs from the PTI)