IIM Shillong paid tribute to the missile man of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam on 15th October 2018 on the occasion of his 87th birth anniversary. The event was preceded with a fun-filled day organized under the Nurturing Minds initiative for school children present from in and around the campus on the 13th October, followed by special screening of his documentary offered by National Geographic.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a man who dreamed, and who inspired others to dream. He was a great scientist, thinker, writer, the missile man of India, and its 11th President. But above all, he was a teacher. A teacher who, through his words, and more importantly through his actions, inspired us, the students at IIM Shillong, to start ‘Nurturing Minds’. Nurturing Minds is a unique initiative aimed at teaching and touching the lives of our beloved students to encourage learning and help foster creativity. The program envisions these young children as the forebearer of future and in this quest makes an effort to unfurl their full capabilities by honing their skills.
In honour of Dr. Kalam's birth anniversary, students of IIM Shillong conducted an event, ‘Sesame’, to celebrate the bond it has built with the kids, to provide them a platform to display their talents, and for their parents to witness the transformation in their children. It was a cultural event which witnessed some stupendous dancing, singing & storytelling by young prodigies. The nestling brains festooned the Institute with all their talents and spread happiness around.
The 15th of October saw large participation of students at the campus, whom Dr. Kalam had always espoused, held within themselves the greatest potential to transform the country. The day began with students committing to a pledge in accordance with the vision, Dr. Kalam had in his mind for the students. The pledge reading, “As a leader in public life, business, education and culture, I commit personal and public integrity, honesty and transparency”, instilled in students a sense of consciousness about their roles and responsibilities in the society.
The later event of the day brought to students the screening of the episode featuring Dr. Kalam from the National Geographic’s ongoing documentary series, ‘Mega Icons’. The screening began with Director of the Institute, Prof. Keya Sengupta paying tribute to the Missile Man by reminding the audience of the special bond the Institute shares with the revered leader. Prof. Sengupta in her opening remark said “Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam is no more a name, he is an institution in himself, a legend. He means different things to each one of us; there is so much to learn from his life experience, and each one of us will have different takeaways from his life journey, depending on our own age, and experiences in life, more so for those who have had the good fortune of meeting him in close encounter.” The Director thanked National Geographic for the opportunity, and asked of the students to consider themselves, “Fortunate to be able to view the screening on the life of a legendary personality who had great affinity for the Institute.” She encouraged the students to imbibe something personal from the life of this icon.
The documentary series played, narrates some of the significant events of Dr. Kalam’s life and gives a scientific breakdown of how these events turned him into a noble person we look up to. It also reveals many lesser-known facts about the icon not only through intimate interviews with his closed ones, but also through the voice of Dr. Kalam himself. The film states that, if there is one takeaway from the life of Dr. Kalam, it is that adversities and hardships can serve as launch pads for ambition and success.