Over this weekend, we got an invite from the nearby JSS temple in Germantown to attend a “Meeting with Dr. Abdul Kalam“. The meeting was scheduled on June 26th at 11am in the all-new social convention center at JSS Temple.
For those who are unaware of this legend of a man, he was the 11th President of India, elected in 2002, and is now serving as a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad & Indore), a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University in Chennai, Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology, and also a professor at the JSS University in Mysore.
Obviously it was a great honor and privilege to be meeting him in person and listening to him speak about various topics like “How to Give” and “How to pursue what you are passionate about.” Of course he had many real life examples to quote from and it kept the audience listening to him in a mesmerized state.
One of the most touching and easy to remember part of his speech was when he mentioned how to cultivate the habit of reading in children. In any family, we should make it a rule to have one meal with every member present at the dining table. Before this meal, the parent will open a book and read a chapter which should have some ethical and moral values. Once the chapter is read, the family members are free to discuss and communicate about this topic and thus exchange thoughts and suggestions.
This will get the children involved and open up their minds to a broad perspective of the subject. They will get more knowledge and also try to spread this among their friends at school or play, and thus leads to more people and children knowing about it and seeking to learn and improve their knowledge.
This little piece of information has had me thinking and I would love to improvise and introduce this sort of learning behavior in my family for my 5 year old daughter. I am sure she will benefit from this as long as we as parents pick the right books and get enough insight into them before trying to impart it on her.
Dr. Kalam also mentioned the importance of “mother” in a family and how everyone should take a mission on making her happy, which will again lead to a better family, a better society and ultimately a better nation.
Neha has her moment!!!
Dr. Kalam was greeted and welcomed by children singing the Indian National Anthem and as he walked on the red carpet towards the stage, he walked straight to us and handed over a rose to Neha!!!!! I was capturing this on my phone, and I have shared it below ( the video gets shaky at the end, please excuse).
Once he passed, Neha looked back to me and asked me “Why did that person give me a rose? He doesnt even know me”. Someone walked over and said “So you are the lucky girl huh?” to which she asked me again ‘Why is everyone calling me lucky?”.
Well, I hope she will one day look back at this video and realize how lucky she really was!!!!
I recorded the first 20 minutes of his speech and you can listen to him here -
Read the entire speech here – Dr. Kalam’s Address and Interaction with JSS members, students and family.