NEW DELHI: “If my mother is happy, my home is happy. If my home is happy, society is happy. If society is happy, my nation is happy.” Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam imparted these words of wisdom to an audience made up of students from over 120 schools from across the capital at the NIE Newspapers Meet 2012.
With this year’s theme being ‘Make Your Mother Smile’ the former President explained various ways in which students could bring a smile to the face of their mothers.
“There are many dimensions to make our mother smile which is based on one’s own interest… Every child is unique. There are four rules to succeed in life — aim high, continuously acquire knowledge, hard work and perseverance,” he said.
Organised by the Times of India’s Student Edition in association with What Can I Give ( WCIG), an initiative started by Kalam and supported by The Times Foundation, the session also saw a question-answer round where the students bombarded Dr Kalam with questions like, Why is India so weak when it comes to mathematical aptitude? How can creativity make my mother smile? How can I make my mother smile?
When Chaudhary Ali from Delhi Public School, asked the former President how a rag-picker could make his HIV positive mother smile, Kalam replied that we should work towards eliminating poverty and one of the ways India can achieve Vision India 2020 is if every youngster in a nation with a population of 6 million youth can ask this question to himself or herself every day: ‘How can I be of help?’
“This aim can be achieved if you see five people who cannot read and write and teach at least one to do so,” said Kalam. The closing ceremony was marked by students singing the National Anthem.