'I want to be remembered as people's Prez'
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'I want to be remembered as people's Prez'

The President wants to be remembered as a Head, who works hard to see smiles on the faces of brilliant people.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2005 23:24 IST

President APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday said he would like to be remembered as a person who was concerned for the welfare of the masses and wanted to see smiles on the faces of all brilliant people in India.

"I would like to be remembered this way - here is a President who is very concerned for the people and who looks after brilliant people and who works hard to see smiles on the faces of brilliant people," Kalam said.

He was replying to a question by a young tribal student at Sariang village on the outskirts of Mizoram's state capital Aizawl.

Kalam arrivedat Aizawlfrom Guwahati on Saturday on the last leg of his three-day visit to three northeastern states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Mizoram.

In his inimitable style, the President broke security cordons and mingled with the locals with hundreds of people cheering and waving at him at the small village.

As part of the itinerary, Kalam interacted with students at the Sariang primary school and later caught up with village elders and tribal chieftains in an engrossing session.

He then administered a pledge to villagers and local government officials present to accord topmost priority to education of the children without any gender bias.

"Let us also pledge to preserve and protect the ecology and the environment," Kalam said, as hundreds of others repeated his words in a chorus. The President won the hearts of the people when he announced the Government's plans for certain basic urban facilities in rural areas in Mizoram.

Earlier, villagers had complained about lack of telecommunication facilities in the area. "Telecommunication would be there when the Government provides urban facilities in rural areas," Kalam said.

The President heard the woes of the tribal people and assured them he would take up their grievances with concerned authorities in Mizoram and New Delhi.

Kalam was scheduled to arrive in Aizawl from Shillong on Friday, but his aircraft could not take off due to bad weather.

He took a two-hour road journey from Shillong to Guwahati on Friday and spent the night at the Raj Bhavan there, arrivingat Aizawl onSaturday morning.

First Published: Sep 24, 2005 22:43 IST