PM inaugurates memorial on APJ Abdul Kalam's second death anniversary


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated former President APJ Abdul Kalam's memorial in Tamil Nadu's Ramananthapuram district. Modi also flagged off 'Kalam Sandesh Vahini', an exhibition bus that will travel across various states and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 15, the 86th birth anniversary of the former president.

Image Source: India Today

Sheik Saleem, Kalam's grand-nephew in a report by Indiatimes said,

It is a proud moment for all of us. APJ's teaching will now live through this monument and will give the belief in oneself to all those people who come here.

The memorial at Pei Karumbu was built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Prior to cutting the ribbon and entering the memorial, Modi hoisted the national flag at the site.

Inside the memorial, Modi also unveiled a statue of Kalam playing the veena, offered floral tributes, and interacted with the family members of the former President, who hailed from Rameswaram. Modi also went around the memorial that has taken architectural inspiration from several national landmarks. The entrance looks similar to India Gate, while the two domes are on the lines of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The memorial has four main halls, each depicting the life and times of Kalam.

Hall-1 focuses on his childhood and educational phase; Hall-2 the Presidential days, including his address to the Parliament and the UN; Hall-3 his ISRO and DRDO days; and Hall-4 his post-Presidential days till he breathed his last in Shillong. There is a separate section to exhibit some of his personal belongings, including his famous Rudra Veena, the G-suit he wore during his Su-30 MKI flight, and the numerous awards he received. Twelve walls have been utilised for murals and paintings.

The entire area has been beautifully landscaped to reflect Kalam's gentle and peace-loving personality. The construction material and other accessories for the memorial have been shipped to Rameswaram from many parts of India. The crafted front doors are from Thanjavur, stone cladding from Jaisalmer and Agra, stone pillars from Bengaluru, marbles from Karnataka, and murals from Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai, to name a few.

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