"My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my Nation." - Guru Kalam

Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture

Rakesh Sharma enthralls audience with stories from space

Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture | 2017


The second Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture and annual Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF) awards ceremony was held on October 11, 2017 in Bangalore. The lecture was delivered by India’s first and only man to have travelled in space, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (Retd). He spoke on the topic: “Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and His Relevance to Contemporary Indian Society”.

Theorising that successive failures lead to introspection, which eventually results in success, he said: “Failure is not the be-all and end- all of one’s life. When you keep failing you will introspect and change your approach, which will result in success.”

Boundaries exist only on earth. From space there are no boundaries visible, remarked the cosmonaut, sharing his experience of space travel.

Rueing the corruption plaguing the nation he said: “Back in those days society used to look down upon the corrupt and people used to hesitate to before taking money to do their work. But now it is the norm to take money and demand money to do work.”

Stressing on the importance of nation building, he said this should be accorded top priority today. We need to march towards progress with risk-taking, progressive and empathetic professionals, he added.

Pointing out that opportunities needed to be grabbed, he said: “I grabbed the opportunities I got. When I got a chance to be in space I took it. That has made a difference.”

Later, the Inspired Indian awards were conferred on people who have rendered yeoman service in various fields.

Rajeev Kumar Mishra of the Rajasthan Patrika was awarded the 2 nd G Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award.

Air Vice-Marshal Ajit Lamba (Retd) was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to military aviation.

Former Director of CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories Shyam Shetty was awarded the Inspired Indian Award for his contributions to the field of aeronautics.

Anthony Swamy, a cremator at the Kalpali Crematorium since 1988 and a selfless soul who performs the final rites of unclaimed bodies won the Inspired Indian Award for Social Service.

Harsha N, a victim of polio and a dedicated social worker who takes care of terminally ill patients got the Inspiring Indian Award in the field of Healthcare.

A P Sreethar, a self-taught artist from Tamil Nadu was conferred the award for Art and Culture.

Recognizing his contributions to the field of Badminton, U Vimal Kumar, Saina Nehwal’s coach who has represented India for 12 years as a badminton player, was conferred the Inspiring Indian Award.

In recognition of his dedication to his work, Rajesh A Armstrong was conferred the Inspiring Indian Award for Passion.

Noted Sarangi player Sarfaraaz Khan of the Kirana Gharana Music Academy was conferred the Inspired Indian Youth Award for his contributions in the field of music.

In recognition of her contribution to the field of classical dance, Kathak dancer Jayanthi M Eshwarputhi was awarded on the occasion.

Siddappa A Itagi, a teacher from Athani who has pioneered the concept of ‘Ekopadhya’ which practices "Ek Shikshak, Ek Vidyalaya" meaning "one teacher for every school” was awarded for his contribution in the field of education.

Recognizing their contributions to the construction of the Abdul Kalam memorial in Rameswaram, Ajay Singh and Bishwajeet Choubey were conferred with the Inspired Indian award.

Paintings by paratrooper Renjith C Thalavoor, Sheela Das, and eight- year old Avanthika, and doodles by Anupama Jaiswal were auctioned. Also on auction were a leather-bound biography of ace badminton champ Prakash Padukone — Touch Play — written by Dev S Sukumar, bearing the champion’s autograph, a badminton racquet and T-shirt of badminton champion Saina Nehwal. The proceeds went to charity.


Youngsters must not waste time on social media: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-1

I sat in the cockpit at the age of 6 and it captured my imagination: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-2

I would still love to take my Mom to Pakistan once: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-3

I was only 21, when I flew 21 missions during 1971 War: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-4

My Mother wanted me to be the best in what ever I did: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-5

We smuggled some 'Amrut' to space station: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-6

We had a guitar onboard Soyuz; I carried a cassette player: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-7

I came down in flames during a Math exam at NDA: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-8

As I grow older, I'm becoming emotional: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-9

When you've Tricolour on your arm, performance goes beyond potential: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-10

Journalist Rajeev Mishra & Aviator AVM Ajit Lamba (Retd) receives IIF Awards 2017 | #2GKML-11

Coffee with Cosmonaut | Rakesh Sharma in conversation with Dr Anantha Krishnan | #2GKML-12

Glance at 2nd Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture & Annual Inspiring Indian Awards | #2GKML-13

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