Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, His Excellency the President of India inaugurates Chiranjeevi Charitable foundation’s new premises & State of the Art Blood Components Unit
Transcript of Dr.APJ Kalam’s address:
Removing the pain of the people: Gods mission
I am very happy to visit Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust (CCT) Which has the objective of effectively bridging the demand and supply of safe and screened blood and to bring down the rate of corneal blindness and reach out the visually impaired to a large extent. This is a very important mission for the society. I extend my greetings to the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust, its members, children, parents, Principal, teachers, doctors, and distinguished invitees.
I am very happy that 3.5 lakh people have pledged their eyes on the call by Mr. Chiranjeevi Garu. I am also happy to know that the blood bank is attracting a large number of blood donors for providing the blood free of cost to the needy people. I congratulate Chiranjeevi Charitable trust and its members for their noble mission.
The indomitable spirit which is required to overcome the problems and serve the people is a great quality. I would like to narrate, two experiences of courage in difficulty.
Courage to overcome problems
While addressing the members of CII, Bangalore who were attending the Leadership Conclave, I asked two questions to be answered by all the participants. The two questions were (a) what have I learnt so far? (b) "What will I be remembered for?" I asked the members to correspond with me through email and I got many responses. One unique response, I would like to share with you.
Response from a participant: Smt Asha Ramaiah, who is presently working as National Advocacy Officer for Indian Network for people living with HIV/AIDS and herself a HIV/AIDS patient since 1995, gave touching answers to both these questions.
As an answer to the first question she said, The true learning in my life began when I had to face the reality of my situation. First, my husband’s family turned me away from their home and later even my father told me to leave our house. Thanks to the strength of my womanhood, I could absorb the feeling of shock leading to a realization that my loved ones need support and I am responsible to make efforts to bring change in the lives of other people living with HIV/AIDS in India.
Today with constant efforts that I made, and the support that received from my fellow people living with HIV, I received an acceptance in my community that even people with high positions come to me for an opinion, guidance and counseling on various personal issues. My parents are proud that I have become a role model for others to follow. With a convinced family and a good peer support, I got remarried to another person living with HIV in the year 2000. He has given me ample support to work with my fellow people living with HIV for betterment of our lives.
When we had to decide upon having a child, I realized how difficult it is for one to make decisions at the face of uncertainties; plunging into the unknown that may have the risk of having a HIV positive child. We decided to follow the medical guidelines to reduce the risk. We came victorious waiting for years when it was confirmed that our child has no infection. We learnt that, dreams do come true but only when you own them and accept the responsibility of any possible risk in pursuing them.
Now we have the responsibility for planning the future of my child for the next 20 years. Our quality life time can be utilized for imparting our parental responsibility by ensuring him education, security and future. I also learnt that I have the responsibility to share the message that all parents living with HIV/AIDS should participate in training programmes and plan their children’s healthy future.
For the second question ‘What will I be remembered for’? She said,
I will be remembered by the People living with HIV/AIDS of many parts of the country and my family, relatives and associates for the courage, I showed to stand up and face life, and for my efforts in sharing the light I have acquired in the midst of struggle.
Friends, the message we get from the above experience of Smt Asha is that, as human beings we may get into a problem. But we should not get defeated. We should find out ways of converting this very problem to our advantage.
On 27th November 2003, I met about 1000 differently challenged children who were taking part in the Abilympics. They were extremely enthusiastic to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan and the environment gave them happiness. To that gathering, I recited a small poem, which runs like this: We are all God’s children, Our minds are stronger than diamond, We will win, win, win with our mighty will. God is with us who can be against!
On hearing this, a boy from Iran by name Mustafa came to me, who didn’t have both legs and was fitted with artificial limbs. He thrust a paper in my hand. He had written a beautiful poem titled “Courage” in Persian Language. It reads like this:
Courage I don’t have legs. I have great will power. My mind says; Don’t weep, don’t weep
For, I need not bow even in front of a King
I was really moved by the positive thinking of that boy. It shows his courage to face the life with optimism. I wish all of you to carry this message to make your life meaningful.
Conclusion: Indomitable spirit
When I think of these two personalities and their courageous mind, I am reminded of the saint poet Thiruvalluvar, who composed a classic of 1330 verses called ‘Thirukkural’, 2500 years ago. I would like to highlight two of the kurals which portrays the 'indomitable spirit’.
For success in any mission what we need is indomitable spirit. Let us study the characteristics of indomitable spirit. It has two components. The first component is that there must be a Vision leading to higher goals of achievement. Now, let me recite the kural: It means, whatever may be the depth of the river or lake or pond, whatever may be the condition of the water, the Lilly flower always comes out and blossoms. Similarly, if there is a definite determination to achieve a goal even if it is impossible to achieve, the man succeeds.
Which means, we should never be defeated by any problems. We should become master of the situation and defeat the problems. I consider these two Thirukkurals characterize the indomitable spirit.
My greetings and best wishes to all the members of Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust for success in their societal mission of removing the pain of people.
May God bless you.