The former President never wanted to be treated as someone who was superior in position to others, even though he was the first citizen when in office. His humility was one trait that the people of the country loved him for. He never took a seating position that was prominent than the others on the dais at events. During his tenure, he vehemently opposed capital punishment. Inspite of his stature as a decorated scientist, he was always open to ideas from the youngsters. He identified himself with the crores of his fellow compatriots. And inturn, the people of this country, bore him in their hearts.
The presidential path was paved by the fact that he was the country's well known nuclear scientist. He was part of India's space research during its initial stages. His work of eminence in missile development strengthened our country's defence facility. His pioneering works of launch vehicles and ballistic missiles not only put the country in the league of the nuclear super powers, but also gave him the title of the "missile man". Never before a scientist ultimately became a household name.
The noble soul had donned many distinguished roles. When asked what he would like to be known as, his humble and a surprise response was that he should be known as a good teacher. This aspect of him shows his humble nature and that he was never proud with the numerous prominent roles he played in his distinguished career as a scientist and as a President. He was passionate about teaching the future generations, not just academically prominent subjects but also to inculcate noble values that refines an individual. Just like how he had significantly contributed in shaping the defence programs, he also wanted to be a part of moulding the future generations of this country to be successful citizens. This way, his inspiration was to channelise the energy of the youth to work to put the country in the league of the developed nations with his Vision 2020. He encouraged children to open up as he loved the interactions with them, curious to know what their thought process was. He was so much involved in this role, that he breathed his last doing what he loved the most.
His, is a fairytale, where a young ambitious child with a struggling life, miraculously reaches the pinnacle of success. That miracle is none other than the power of education. He worked his way up with dedication and honesty. His journey at DRDO and ISRO was not only a personal accomplishment but a historic one for a developing country as well. His capabilities as a defence scientist is well known. His sense of social responsibility comes to the fore when he channelized his expertise to bring in the much needed support in the field of health care. Making life saving stents affordable to light callipers for the physically challenged manageable, his contribution to the country diversified. This is a stellar example of how scientists can utilize their knowledge not just in their fields of specialization, but also for the uplifment of the society by aiding others.
As we approach the year 2020, we remember a visionary who left us with ample guidance and championed the idea for a developed nation. His goals were simple, achievable and more importantly was an inclusive attempt to bring in the well being of the people who belonged to the lowest strata of the society. After all, their prosperity is the best way to evaluate how far a country has achieved in terms of development. The goals were formulated way back in 2002. Now that we have reached 2020, the onus is not just on the government to achieve the objective but also on each and every citizen of this country to work towards our dream nation, which would be the goal of Beyond 2020.