New Delhi, October 15 : Paying rich tributes to 'people's President' APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary,Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said a memorial to honour him and inspire future generations would be built in his birthplace Rameswaram, which will developed as an AMRUT city.
The Prime Minister exhorted the scientific community, especially the youngsters, to come up with innovations to ease the common man's life, drawing inspiration from Kalam who had built great institutions from scratch.
He mentioned several vital sectors where innovation was essential, including cyber-security, housing for all, river-linking, enhancing agricultural productivity, blue economy, and 'zero-defect, zero-effect' manufacturing.
Describing Dr Kalam as a "Rashtra-ratna" before being a "Rashtrapati", Modi, who was speaking at a function organised by DRDO, said the former President always looked for "challenges" and his life is a source of inspiration for all Indians.
The Prime Minister said that a memorial for Dr Kalam would be built at Rameswaram, to inspire future generations.
He added that government has already acquired the land for the memorial and a committee of Ministers has been set up to discuss modalities in this regard.
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Rameswara would be converted into AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme) city.
The Prime Minister said that while most people look for opportunities in life, Kalam always sought fresh challenges to overcome. He recalled how he worked closely with Kalam during the post-earthquake reconstruction work in Kutch.
Recalling that Dr Kalam wished to be remembered as a teacher, the Prime Minister said that the former President was well aware of the importance of nurturing future generations.
On Dr Kalam's birth anniversary, "one must explore how we can encourage innovation in India," he said.
Speaking about various sectors, PM Modi hoped that India can turn itself into one of the main hubs for cyber security, which has become a global concern.
PM Modi said Dr Kalam had not only risen from humble beginnings to the highest office in India, but had also built great institutions, virtually from scratch. He said everyone should draw inspiration from his example.
PM Modi said Dr Kalam had child-like qualities and he always made sure to interact with youngsters and to inspire them.
Earlier, the Prime Minister unveiled a bust of A P J Abdul Kalam at DRDO Bhavan. He inaugurated a photo exhibition titled - 'A Celebration of Dr Kalam's Life'. The Prime Minister also released a commemorative postal stamp on Dr Kalam.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan were among the dignitaries present on
Dr Kalam, known as the father of India's missile programme, was President from 2002 to 2007. He died of cardiac arrest on July 27 this year.