“Every youth wants to be unique, that is, you. But the world around you is doing its best to make you ‘everybody else’. The challenge is that you have to fight the hardest battle, and never stop until you arrive at your destined place, that is, a unique you,” said Kalam while inaugurating the Children Science Congress at the ongoing 101st Indian Science Congress here.
Kalam, who shared his thoughts on the subject ‘Innovation Empowers the Nation’, added that the capabilities of children should be identified and encouraged.
“Children have hard-wired ability to be creative, imaginative and innovative that often diminishes along the way. These inherent capabilities have to be identified and encouraged to have a new breed of innovative thinkers, and are more prepared to solve future challenges of our world,” Kalam said.
Addressing enthusiastic children from various schools across the state under a packed makeshift canopy, Kalam said a higher number of creative minds in the country will result in better innovation.
“India should look for young, innovative minds, rather than old, experienced ones,” said Kalam who got a thunderous applause.
Kalam stressed that the creativity of children should be harnessed so as to “move towards an impatient India”.
“In the ever-changing 21st Century life, everything demands out of the box thinking. It is education that should focus on fostering innovation by putting curiosity, critical thinking, deep understanding, the rules and tools of inquiry, and creative brainstorming at the center of the curriculum,” said Kalam.
The session, said many student attendees, left them feeling “inspired” and “enthusiastic”.
Rayman Guttu, a class 11 student of St. Francis High School said that the session with the ‘Missile Man of India’ left her with a feeling of “wanting to do something” for the country.
“He is such an inspiration to youngsters like us. After listening to him, I now have an urge to do something for the society I live in,” the 15-year-old said.
“I want to become an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, and help make India a better country,” Guttu added.
Aadhar Gupta, 13, said that he wanted to ask a question to Kalam, but did not get an opportunity.
“I like studying Science. Sir (Kalam) inspires me, and I wanted to ask him who inspired him to take up science,” said Gupta, who shared that he wanted to grow up and become a scientist.
“I also want to explore new areas and help in the innovation of something unique,” added Gupta, a student of Heritage School, Jammu.
At the session, Kalam also gave out the Infosys ISCA Travel Awards to five students from across India.