A string of farewell meetings have been lined up for President A P J Abdul Kalam, who will address the nation two days before he demits office on July 24. In his farewell speech, the 75-year-old scientist is expected to ask the people to work hard to fulfil one of his cherished dreams -- making India a developed nation by 2020. Kalam, who may get back to teaching after demitting office, is also likely to appeal to people to guide their children to ensure a better future for the nation.
On July 19, when the nation will closely watch the presidential poll contested by UPA-Left nominee Pratibha Patil and NDA-backed independent candidate Bharion Singh Shekhawat, the President A P J Abdul Kalam, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, will host a dinner for the three service chiefs. They in turn will host a dinner for him on July 21. Kalam, who has several firsts to his credit, will host a tea party for the capital's large press corps on July 20.
A pro-active President, A P J Abdul Kalam, during his five-year tenure, created history by becoming the first president to fly in a frontline Sukhoi combat jet, go underwater in a submarine and visit troops in Siachen, the world's highest battlefield. Popularly known as a "people's president", he will meet the families of all Rashtrapati Bhavan employees on July 21.
Ahead of his farewell address to the nation he will also host an "at home" to be attended by Vice President Bharion Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other top leaders.
The ‘Missile Man’, who made Rashtrapati Bhavan and its work force tech-savvy, transformed the presidential palace's Mughal Garden by introducing fragrant roses and set up a herbal garden. He has been awarded the coveted Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna (1997).
Kalam, who authored "Wings of Fire", "India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium", "My Journey" and "Ignited Minds: Unleashing the power within India" will be given a send off by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and MPs from both Houses on July 23. The Prime Minister will host a dinner in his honour on the same day at Hyderabad House.