Missile man Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, gem of nation: PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called the late former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam a 'rashtra-ratna' (Gem of the nation) before 'rashtrapati'.

Pic/Tushar Satam

'Dr. Kalam was a 'rashtra-ratna' first and President later. The Government of India has decided that that statue of Dr. Kalam will be built in the villages where he was born and where he breathed his last. Government has already acquired land in both the places to build a memorial for him. The statue will be an inspiration for the future generations,' said Prime Minister Modi after unveiling the statue of late president at DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) Bhavan here.

Missile man Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, gem of nation:Prime Minister, Narendra Modi unveil the bust of the former President A P J Abdul Kalam to mark his 84th birth anniversary, at DRDO Bhawan in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

"His hair style depicted a child in him. I was very close to him, since I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat," the Prime Minister added.

He also asserted that late former president Dr. Kalam was a man of commitment who always looked for challenges and the ways to overcome them.

Prime Minister Modi also inaugurated a photo exhibition dedicated to the leader here.

Bharat Ratna awardee Dr. Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015. He was the 11th President of India.

Before becoming the President, Dr. Kalam had spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the DRDO and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

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