Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dr. Abdul Kalam visits Eastern Kentucky University - Avinash Conda

Dr. Abdul Kalam who became to be known as the “People’s President” when he led India from 2002 to 2007, is also recognized as one of India’s leading scientists, also earned the moniker “The Missile Man of India.”, spoke on “The Future of Energy: Energy Independence and the Importance of Alternative Energy” when he visited Eastern Kentucky University. The students were given a chance to interact with him after his presentation. I was lucky enough to be the last student who got a chance to ask a question. 

Later we had an informal gathering where Dr. Kalam interacted with students. Although this was not the first time I met Dr. Kalam, it was truly a wonderful experience and inspiring as always. I am very grateful to Dr. Doug Whitlock, President, Eastern Kentucky University for giving me a chance to take part in this event and introducing me to Dr. Kalam.  I should also thank Ms. Beth Blanchard, Co-ordinator, International Education, for helping me and encouraging me to ask questions and interact with Dr. Kalam.

Dr. Kalam is the third head of state or government to visit Eastern Kentucky University. As per EKU "Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson visited the campus in 1979 and a former president of the Philippines visited before him".

"Kalam’s visit was a source of great pride for members of the local Indian community, which turned out to welcome him" - The Richmond Register

Now 80, Kalam has received honorary doctoral degrees from 36 universities and institutions worldwide. The only surviving former president of India, he is often considered among the nation’s greatest presidents; in fact, in a poll conducted by news channel CNN-IBN, he was selected as India’s Best President.