Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam contributions to the promotion of self reliance and thrust to indigenisation in defence systems and technologies by progressing multiple development tasks and mission projects were immense. Dr. Kalam direct interaction with Defence Production started when he joined DRDO. Some of us had been fortunate enough to get his guidance. I had occasions to meet him when he was Scientific Advisor in MoD. A modest and genuine human being, with no airs about him and 'instant connection' with common man. As a Scientific Advisor he had office in South Block and use to take the Lift to reach his office. The prevalent culture was to block the Lift for others by staff of so called VIP, whenever they were to use it. He was an exception and he would insist on taking with him all those who were hesitant due to shear respect, to be in lift with him. He will utilize even the one minute of lift journey to enquire about professional issues. His intellectual caliber or his position never came in way to connect with masses. A rare combination of humility, inquisitiveness, concern and his sincerity made him dear and a source of inspiration to all of us young generation.
I distinctly remember his concern for issues in profession and keenness to know what new? As a President of India, in a award function organized by Quality Council of India, he spent some time enquiring from me on what else recommendations of my Phd. Thesis, despite some discomfort of schedule organizers. On being told about requirement of Life Assessment or Prediction of Ammunition in India and pending case with MoD for necessary approval, on the spot he appreciated the requirement and asked me to provide the details of pending case. To our surprise the case for setting up the laboratory was approved with in about 3 weeks. It was mainly due to interest of Dr. Kalam, the laboratory came up and functional now, at CQA (Amn.) Pune.
A genuine human being, his simplicity in oration and action was applauded by one and all and one of the main reason for his being loved and respected. For a very long time, Dr. Kalam will remain as one of the finest human beings ever to have lived. The successful and illustrious life that he lived, and the legacy he has left for us will continue to inspire and encourage children and youngsters in the world, especially in India for many years to come.