VISAKHAPATNAM: Following the sudden and sad demise of former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, the districts of North Coastal Andhra joined the nation in grieving for its lost son. Leading the condolences are the Collectorates of the three districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, followed by GVMC, ECoR, Police Commissionerate, PSUs and educational institutions of Port City among others.
NSTL: Authorities of NSTL Visakhapatnam have announced that they would be observing seven-day mourning starting Tuesday. Scientist ‘G’ and NSTL principal associate director Debasish Chakraborti paid floral tributes to a portrait of the former President on the NSTL premises. Employees of NSTL including senior scientists, officers, NSTL Civil Employees Union, JCM and staff of NSTL too, paid respects to APJ Abdul Kalam. The authorities recollected memories of Kalam on various occasions, when he had visited NSTL for official purposes as well as for active participation in various social-services activities like distribution of light-weight polio calipers and Braille books.
Visakhapatnam Collectorate: District collector N Yuvaraj expressed his deep condolences over the demise of APJ Abdul Kalam. He termed it a great loss for the country, particularly students and youngsters. Yuvaraj said that Kalam was the first person who spoke about development. He said that with the book ‘Wings of Fire’, Kalam has showcased India to the world. “Kalam always loved his mother tongue, native place and taught everybody to love their motherland. He used to carry literature books, even on his trips abroad,” Yuvaraj recalled. He recollected how he met the former President during his IAS training nine years ago along with his batch mates and was inspired by his speech there.
Srikakulam Collectorate: Authorities of district paid homage to the great scientist APJ Abdul Kalam. MLA Gunda Lakshmi Devi paid floral tributes to a portrait of Kalam. Remembering the efforts of the former President, she regretted that her dream of meeting him has not been realised. Lakshmi Devi said that Kalam’s life is an inspiration for each and every person and the country is proud of him. She also said that the life of Kalam should be taught to children in school. Later, district collector P Lakshmi Nrusimham also paid tributes to the former President.
Vizianagaram Collectorate: Central Aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam is a gem of the nation. Leading the tributes to the eminent scientist, he laid floral wreaths and said how Kalam, with his inspiring speeches, motivated youngsters in India. “Development is possible only with education. That was his slogan and belief. He was never tired in spreading his ideas and ideologies,” the minister said. Minister Kimidi Mrinalini also paid tributes to the former president in a condolence meet in Vizianagaram.
Satya Sai Vidya Vihar: Among the others, Satya Sai Vidya Vihar Visakhapatnam, has a special place in Kalam’s heart. The school authorities recalled the visit of former President Abdul Kalam to their school in the year 2009. State president Sri Satya Sai Seva Organisations, AP and Telangana, and convenor of Sri Satya Sai Vidya Vihar, SG Chalam expressed his deep shock over the passing of Abdul Kalam. Chalam said that India has lost a great visionary, academician, scientist par excellence and a great statesman. Recalling the visit to Sri Satya Sai Vidya Vihar, he said that Kalam’s visit was a dream come true for the students, staff and Governing body of the school as well. Principal Kausalya recalled Kalam’s inspiring interaction with the students during which he said, “We will meet on Mars,”. He motivated the students to dream big and make their dreams come true. Some of the students who interacted with Kalam said that it was an honour to have met him, and recalled how he concluded his visit with an oath to “lead an honest life without resorting to any sort of corruption”.
GVMC: “As a scientist and as a President, the contribution of Abdul Kalam cannot be forgotten,” said GVMC commissioner J Pravin Kumar. He took part in a memorial meet here Tuesday on the GVMC premises and paid floral tributes to the portrait of the former President. Pravin said that apart from inspiring youngsters and students, he also gave priority to rural development and stressed the need for education. He also said that even after retiring, Kalam has worked for the country as a top scientist, spreading his fire and enthusiasm for science, he added. Additional commissioner, Zonal officers and other officers took part in the memorial meet.
Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan, Vizag: Authorities and students of Sri Prakash paid tributes to former President APJ Abdul Kalam by garlanding his portrait, while students lit candles. Director of the School Ch Vasu Prakash spoke to the children about how Abdul Kalam is an inspiration, always driving youngsters to realise their dreams and guiding them on their path. The staff and students observed two-minute silence in the fond memory of India’s Missile Man.
Vizag Police Commissionerate: City commissioner of Police Amit Garg, along with other top officers paid homage to former President at the Police Commissionerate in Visakhapatnam. The CP remembered the contribution of Kalam as a scientist, President, speaker, as well as a good human being. The officers observed two-minute silence as a mark of respect. Zone II DCP Ram Gopal Naik paid tributes to Kalam at Gajuwaka. Inspectors, along with their staff in all police stations including taskforce, special branch and traffic departments in the city paid tributes to the great scientist.
ECoR, Waltair Divn: Bharat Scouts and Guides of Waltair Division of East Coast Railway organised a candle light rally to pay tributes to the missile man of India and former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Waltair Division DRM Chandralekha Mukherjee lit the torch, in the presence of DCM Yelvender Yadav and other officials. Localites of Railway Colony formed a human chain in memory of Dr. Abdul Kalam.
Andhra University: Vice-chancellor GSN Raju described APJ Abdul Kalam as a ‘People’s President’. Remembering Kalam as a scientist and a President, Raju said that his efforts were outstanding. Among others, Kalam coined the term PURA (Providing Urban facilities in Rural Areas) aimed at the development of rural areas. He always loved his motherland and stressed the need for rural development and eradication of illiteracy. Describing the eminent scientist’s relationship with Andhra University, Raju said that it is the great honour of the varsity to have presented a doctorate to Dr. Abdul Kalam.