President Kalam gets museum in his honour
As President APJ Abdul Kalam prepares to demit office, his scientist friends have come together to start a museum that showcases his contribution to India's space development and also has a silhouette of his famous mane as its logo.
The Mission of Life Museum in the Capital's cantonment area is the brainchild of Kalam's friend and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd, A Sivathanu Pillai.
Through Kalam's achievements, the museum also highlights the country's milestones in rocketry, space and missile technology using 3-D holography and even a simulated nuclear explosion.
As Pillai sees it, there could be no better tribute for India's first scientist president, who was the founder of BrahMos, an India-Russia joint venture for making the supersonic cruise missiles.
"We have reached a stage when the BrahMos missiles have been inducted into the Indian Navy and the Army, so we decided to exhibit the important milestones in our space, nuclear and missile technology (which are closely linked to Kalam)," Pillai told IANS.
"It is designed in such a way that the children, who come out of it after visiting it, should have a vision about their life."
The timing is right too. The museum opens on July 15 exclusively for schoolchildren during weekends, just four days before the new president is elected.
"It has come out as a fantastic museum," Pillai, who has collected all the medals, honours, certificates and awards Kalam had received, said.
Kalam himself inaugurated the museum last month. He has donated his original Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan awards, his 27 doctorates apart from numerous other awards to it.
Several dozen mementos and gifts Kalam received during his presidency and earlier are also featured. Besides, the president's personal 'Rudraveena' and Mahatma Gandhi's marksheet, which was gifted to him by the father of nation's old school in Gujarat, are there too.
At the right side of the entrance is the museum's logo - Kalam's much talked about mane.
"It gives one all the details about India's growth in the missile and space technology. It has the model of the missile Tipu Sultan used in his battle for exhibition," said an official.
Entry to the museum, situated in a high-security area as part of the BrahMos headquarters, will be subjected to biometric identification.
Four people will be appointed to explain the exhibits and give details about Kalam's life and work.
"'The Mission of Life' is very children-friendly. The details about India's space research and tests are presented on screen with 3-dimensional holography. It will be a memorable experience for children," said an official in the museum.