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

Tributes to guru kalam

We are following the flightpath of Guru Kalam: Dr Reddy

By Team Billion Beats | JUL 2016

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s Scientific Advisor Dr G Satheesh Reddy was seen holding multiple meetings with different teams at the memorial site of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in the 48 hours.

His presence beyond mid-night was a pointer that the government was serious in building a memorial for a man revered as People’s President. Dr Satheesh said the absence of Dr Kalam has hit the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) hard.

“I feel the void and so do many others in the DRDO. He was a man who took challenges head on and also taught all of us to traverse through difficult situations. He never feared failure. He encouraged people to fail so that they could learn. He gave us great direction and gave us the huge leap in missile technology,” says Dr Satheesh, now often referred to as the ‘Missile Man Jr.‘

Dr Kalam often gave new ideas for DRDO

Recalling his hour-long meeting with the original Missile Man a month before his demise, Dr Satheesh said the former President had the ability to chart the flight-path with perfection.

“Probably, he knew my strengths and weaknesses. He knew the challenges I am getting into. And, he also was aware that the times have changed (as compared to his period as the Scientific Advisor). Our meeting was at his library in No 10, Rajajimarg. At that age, he was so active and passionate about missile technology. He gave me some direction and strategy. He gave new ideas for DRDO,” says Dr Satheesh, who was recently promoted as Director General (Missile and Strategic Systems).

When asked why DRDO is still lacking on many fronts, despite the best fire-fighting solutions given by Dr Kalam, Dr Satheesh said: “We are excelling in many areas, especially in missile technology. There are grey areas and we are working as a team to overcome them. Change is constant and we are clear with our mandate.”

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There’s a pressure on us to deliver

He said in the changing scenario in the country with the perceptions of the current government, DRDO has to deliver the best. “Our role has been changed and we have to reduce the import content. There is a pressure to deliver and we need to increase our exports in defence,” Dr Satheesh said.

To a query why DRDO failed to produce inspiring leaders, Dr Satheesh said it takes great dedication to follow the footsteps of Dr Kalam.

“Dr Kalam had the ability to transform into different roles. He constantly changed himself and adapted to the needs. He had the ability to give directions to the nation and it was a phenomenal aspect of his life. I miss him every day in my life,” he said.

Youngsters must have better problem-solving skills

When asked about the direction he would want to give the young scientists in India, Dr Satheesh said they could emulate Dr Kalam by finding as many as solutions to a problem.

“Problem-solving skills have to be bettered. Dr Kalam got ideas from youngsters as he turned India into a laboratory for his experiments. You can do wonders if you have an inspired team with you. Dr Kalam showed us what team work can deliver. I want the youngsters to be selfless in every step they take,” he added.

Finally, to a query on why DRDO is venturing into the statue culture, with the 5th one of Dr Kalam being installed at Pei Karumbu on July 27, Dr Satheesh said: “Let’s not see any hidden agenda behind it. Statues are for the people. To see and get inspired.”

On the eve of Dr Kalam’s first death anniversary, Dr Satheesh was invited by House of Kalam for a private event where he released an official brochure of A P J Abdul Kalam International Foundation. He handed over the first copy to A P J M Maraikayar, elder brother of Dr Kalam.

“It was a very special moment for me. I have promised all help to the family. I have asked them to directly get in touch with me for whatever help they need. This is a very special family for all of us,” Dr Satheesh added.

(Reproduced with permission from Mathrubhumi English.)

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