The Missile Man with a Mission: Homage to HE Dr. Abdul Kalamji
In honour of HE Dr. APJ AbdulKalam Ji, one of the greatest teachers & students, one of the greatest leaders, scientists and revolutionaries India ever gave birth to. He may not be in his physical body anymore but he lives on in all of us and calls to all Indians to keep his spirit, his dream and his vision of India alive in them and to work together for a resurgent, resilient and sustainable India for all.
Pujya Swamiji remembers fondly His meeting with His Excellency, Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalamji.
During their meeting, Pujya Swamiji discussed with Dr. Abdul Kalamji the work being done by Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and Ganga Action Parivar (GAP) to clean and protect the waters of Mother Ganga and Her tributaries for the approximately 500 million Indians who depend upon Her waters for their very lives and livelihoods.
Pujya Swamiji presented President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalamji with a draft National Ganga Rights Act to offer an example of the type of sustainable and holistic legislation that can be implemented to protect India’s national river.
Pujya Swamiji shared with Dr. Kalamji, “every day, one billion litres of toxic chemicals pour into the Ganga River due to industry and agriculture. Because of this, our beautiful natural resources are decaying and far too many people are sickening and dying. This is why when we chant, ‘Jai Jai Gange,’ we encourage people to also say, ‘Jaivik Gange,’ so that our Natural River and those who depend on Her are protected through the planting of trees and practices including organic farming. We are working to inspire people not only to chant ‘Har Har Gange’ but also to serve together for Herbal Gange with Har Bal Gange, bringing together everyone’s Bal (strength and power) to protect and preserve Mother Ganga and Her tributaries.”
Pujya Swamiji also shared with Dr. Kalamji about the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), which He co-founded and which was launched at UNICEF headquarters at the United Nations in New York, bringing together the power of our world’s faiths to ensure even the most marginalized people have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Every day, some 1,200 children die mostly preventable deaths due to deplorable WASH conditions. Tragically, India leads the world in the number of children under the age of five who die every year.
Pujya Swamiji said, “we can no longer sit idly in our prayer rooms while children are dying painful and preventable deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. That is why the faiths are joining forces to ensure everyone has access to clean water and proper sanitation and hygiene. In light of our nation’s growing population and the rapid degradation of our natural resources, the need couldn’t be greater than it is right now. As a nation, building missiles and sending space ships to Mars is great but making it a mission to end the lack of WASH and creating space in our communities find solutions to these challenges is also vital.”
Dr. Abdul Kalamji was deeply encouraged by Pujya Swamiji’s sustainable action plans, his compassion in action and stated his full support to spread its interfaith messages to the masses, especially to the youth of India.Dr. APJ Abdul Kalamji agreed to grace Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) in October/November on the occasion of World Toilet Day to launch the WASH University. (Now we will be graced and be honoured by his divine and visionary spirit)
Pujya Swamiji presented Dr. Kalamji with a sapling of the sacred rudraksh tree as a symbol of his tireless efforts to bring new, green life, green energy and sustainable development to India.