Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Tells 100,000 Youth to Dare to Dream
In the divine presence of Amma, His Excellency the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, addressed 100,000 young people from around the world.
26 September 2003
In a stadium awash with the colours of flags and native costumes of 193 countries, His Excellency the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, exhorted the youth of India and the world to “dare to dream, set a goal and have a mission.”
He pointed out that whatever one wanted to become—doctor, engineer, lawyer, fashion designer or even just a good human being—one needs to dream about it and work towards achieving that goal. He also had the 100,000-odd youth gathered repeat the following words: “Learning provides thinking! Thinking provides knowledge! Knowledge makes you great!”
The President then talked about four stages in life: a child says, “Give me”; the teenager says, “Leave me alone”; when we graduate, we say, “Let’s work together”; and in the presence of Enlightened people, we say, “What can I do for you?”
He also described points in his own career that had brought him happiness, such as when his team successfully launched satellites into orbit. Beyond happiness was anand (bliss), and President Kalam said he experienced it when he saw his space technology used to improve artificial limbs for handicapped children, enabling them to run around with their new legs.
President Kalam pointed out that children all over India wanted only one thing: “To live in a happy and safe India.” How to get there? Encouraging all youth to become ambassadors of his 10-point agenda, he made them repeat the 10 points:
- I will love whatever profession I take up and will try to excel in it.
- I will teach at least 10 people who cannot read or write to do so.
- I will plant 10 saplings of trees and ensure their growth.
- I will go to rural and urban areas and reform at least five people from the habits of gambling and addiction.
- I will take responsibility for removing the pain of ailing persons.
- I will take part in the mission of realising the economic strength of India by combining it with education and value systems, and convert religion into a spiritual force.
- I will not support any differentiation on the count of language or community.
- I will lead an honest life, free of corruption, set an example for others and adapt a transparent way of life.
- I will befriend the mentally or physically challenged, and work hard to make them feel normal.
- I will celebrate the success of my country and my people.
The President ended his speech by assuring the youth of Amma’s blessings.