The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order”, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was awarded Bharat Ratna in the year 1998. Dr Kalam seen with his elder brother APJ Marakayar and his grandsons APJMJ Sheik dawood, APJMJ Sheik Saleem, His close friends Dr. Y S Rajan , Prof. N Balakrishnan, Secretaries Mr H Sheridon, Mr Prasad.
Dr Kalam’s pet e-paper Billion Beats relaunched by 11-year-old fisherman’s daughter Anushiya from Verkottu village
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam International Foundation, Rameswaram, relaunched Billion Beats, one of the key digital initiatives of former President on Children’s Day. The first copy of Billion Beats was released by 11-year-old Anushiya, a sixth standard student of St Joseph Higher Secondary School in Verkottu, near Rameswaram.
Anushiya handed over first copy of Billion Beats to A P J M Maraikayar, 99-year-old elder brother of former President, at a simple event held at House of Kalam.
Anushiya’s mother Vazhivittal accompanied her while members of House of Kalam, including Dr Naseema Maraikayar and A P J M Jainullabudeen were present on the occasion.
Anushiya had recently lost her father Vilvaraj, a fisherman, after his mechanised boat was involved in a mishap in the high seas. The Kalam Foundation will now support Anushiya’s education.
“I am happy to be part of a dream that’s so dear to Kalam Sir. Now, even I have a dream to read books, write and help humankind in whatever way I can. I liked the inspiring stories in Billion Beats,” Anushiya said.
Kalam Foundation did a survey of schools in Rameswaram and finally narrowed down on Anushiya to be selected the chief guest for the event.
“I couldn’t believe when my mother informed me that I will have to release Kalam Sir’s paper. I wish my father was around to witness this event. He would always tell me that, I should become a great person like Kalam Sir. Today’s event has boosted my confidence,” Anushiya.
Dr Naseema, Founder Chairperson of Kalam Foundation, said that Billion Beats is an ideal gift to all those who believed in creating a positive India.
“Dr Kalam launched this project in 2007 on Children’s Day from Karimnagar, with the support of a journalist friend of his. The idea was to capture inspiring stories of Indians across the globe. Just a few days before his demise, he had expressed his desire to relaunch Billion Betas, which had to be discontinued due to administrative reasons. He wanted the same team to handle it from Bangalore and Kalam Foundation has entered into an arrangement with Inspired Indian Foundation to bring out this monthly e-paper,” says Dr Naseema, niece of Dr Kalam.
“Our idea is to concentrate on one activity at a time. We want to initiative result-oriented actions in tune with the philosophy of Dr Kalam,” says Dr Naseema.
A P J M Maraikayar will play the role of a Mentor for the paper, who takes great interest in world affairs even at the age of 99 years. The trustees of Kalam Foundation form the Editorial Advisors for Billion Betas. They include: Dr Naseema Maraikayar, A P J MJainullabudeen, G K Moinudeen, A P J M J Sheik Saleem, A P J M J Sheik Dawood and A P J M S Nagoor Roja.
Inspired Indian Foundation, a movement for unsung heroes in Bangalore, will handle the editorial operations of Billion Beats.
Billion Beats is a wonderful idea: Dr Kalam
Billion Beats was always closer to Dr Kalam’s heart and he saw it as a strong medium to connect with teachers, students and the youth in general.
“Billion Beats, an e-paper aimed at capturing positive stories, is indeed a beautiful idea. It should set a new tradition by celebrating the success of Indians wherever they are. It may be from an agricultural village or a fishing village; it may be from a dairy village or from the service sector. Billion Beats should tap and spread the success of Indians and their glad tidings. We have islands of success in every field and we should connect them to make a garland. The idea of Billion Beats is to make every Indian write. I am confident that Billion Beats would create knowledge connectivity among the people,” Dr Kalam wrote during its launch in 2007.
The relaunch issue of Billion Beats carries messages from spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, international badminton player Saina Nehwal and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister Dr Satheesh Reddy.
India’s first and only man to have gone to space Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma (Retd) has written a piece titled: ‘India by 2020: Every youth must insure own future.”
India of dreams, a separate section dedicated to schoolchildren has contributions even from abroad. Billion Beats also has a dedicated section for special children.
“We plan to bring out the issue by the 15th of every month. We have already formed support teams consisting of young scientists from Missile Complex in Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore and a group of research scholars from University of Mysore. Anyone can write, provided the articles are inspiring, authentic and one celebrating the success of Indians,” says Sindhu A, National Coordinator for Inspired Indian Foundation.