news Monday, July 27, 2015 - 05:30
Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, popularly known as India’s "Missile Man" passed away in Shillong on Monday night.  Dr. Kalam, a scientist of much repute, was at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Shillong conducting a lecture for a more liveable planet earth. Reports mention that Dr. Kalam collapsed during the function after suffering from a massive heart attack and was rushed to Bethany Hospital. The eighty-three-year old former President was taken to the hospital immediately and though doctors struggled to revive him for almost 45 minutes, he was declared dead. Dr John Sailoh, CEO, Bethany Hospital, Shillong confirmed to The Quint, over phone that Dr Kalam was brought dead to the hospital. Dr Sailoh said that he was taken to the ICU and attempts were made to revive him, but in vain. When asked what the cause of death was he said, “I would think it was a massive cardiac arrest," The Quint quoted him as saying.  Born as Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam on October 15, 1931,  Kalam served as India's 11th President between 2002 and 2007.  Born and raised in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district, he studied at the Madras Institute of Technology. He began his career at the Defence Research and Developement Organisation (DRDO) and worked under Vikram Sarabhai to establish the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Kalam was called the "Missile Man" as he conceived and was instrumental in setting up the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He had been elected President close to thirteen years ago, with the support of both the BJP and the Congress. After his term ended, Kalam had resumed a life of education, public service and writing.  Gifted with the pen, as with the mind, the former President authored fifteen books. One of acclaimed works, India 2020, was penned seventeen years ago.  A week of mourning has been declared across the country and several hundred people have gathered outside Bethany Hospital. Dr. Kalam is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna for his work with ISRO and DRDO among several other honours.