October 15th, is celebrated every year as World Students’ Day. On this day former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, also know as the Missile Man of India was born in Rameshwaram. His father was a boat-owner and imam of a local mosque and his mother was a house-wife. From an early age he had to struggle hard to keep up with his education but that did not deter him from being one of the greatest scientist, thinker and teacher of all times. Today, this day is celebrated as World Students’ Day to honour him and his role as a teacher.
Seen as a role model for students across the country he constantly encouraged and motivated students to dream and work towards those dreams to turn them into reality. One of his famous quotes is; “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.“
He was an example for poor and underprivileged students. His struggle was similar; there was a time when he had to sell newspapers from door to door to support his education and yet his sheer hard work and determination made him the Missile Man of India and he served as the President of India from the 25th of July 2002 to 25th of July 2007.
Inspired by his engagement with children, Smile Foundation produced I am Kalam traces the story of a little boy who dreams of becoming like the Missile Man. The boy who is poor and underprivileged and cannot afford an education because of the lack of money changes his name to Kalam and harbours a dream of meeting the visionary. The easy-going but hard-hitting plot of the movie delivers the most important message, one that of children working as labourers and the many dreams they harbour. Will they ever be able to come out of the cycle? Will they get a chance like other privileged children? Will their dreams take flight? Many question and one answer, dream like Dr. Kalam says you must and then work hard to turn them into reality.
Smile Foundation’s Mission Education programme also aims at providing education to underprivileged and poor children to help them realise their dreams. This World Students’ Day children from Smile Foundation’s Mission Education programme have pledged to work hard to achieve their aims and shine like the sun.