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Visitors of all ages drawn to Kalam Memorial

A giant video screen displaying thoughts and images associated with former President APJ Abdul Kalam greets visitors at a new memorial here dedicated to the ‘Missile Man’ whose noble spirit seems to pervade the space.

Visitors of all ages drawn to Kalam Memorial
Visitors take a look at exhibits at the newly inaugurated memorial to APJ Abdul Kalam in Delhi

New Delhi

‘Kalam Memorial’, situated on the rear side of the busy Delhi Haat at INA, is already getting a steady stream of visitors two days after it was inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Here, young and the old alike can get a feel of the humble life he lived, earning him the sobriquet of ‘People’s President’. 

The memorial fronted with an open courtyard has a running verandah around it, and metallic plaques bearing an image of Kalam and a timeline of his life journey adorn the walls, painted in vibrant red from the outside. 

The museum, among its prized possessions, has the former President’s belongings which include his clothes, books, souvenirs and citations presented to him by various institutions and organisations.

It has huge panels on walls charting his life from Rameswaram, where he was born in 1931, to his ascension to the country’s top post. A special panel recalls his experience of interacting with his teacher and how the flight of birds proved to be one his inspirations for delving into rocket science.

A special video containing tributes of children for Kalam has also been mounted on a screen. 

“I think it’s a good initiative and unlike many other memorials where it just sounds like a lip service, here you can actually feel his (Kalam’s) presence, his spirit, and people could do well to visit the place,” said Ramesh Tahiliani, an advertising professional, who visited the museum on Sunday. 

“The INA Delhi Haat is already cultural landmark and now this would be an added attraction,” he said.

Besides a bust of Kalam in the ‘His Passion for Music’ section, a special life-sized sculpture of the ‘Missile Man’ surrounded by children has been installed at the focal point of the memorial. 

Neel Indriya Das who made the fibre bust said, “I never got a chance to meet him in person, but I feel privileged to have made this bust. It is my tribute to him.” 

The memorial also houses paintings on Kalam, from oil paintings to sketches and text art, all contributed by several youngsters.

A souvenir shop has also been put up selling coffee mugs, t-shirts, plaques and other merchandises celebrating the legacy of Kalam, who endeared himself to one and all. 

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