APJ Abdul Kalam bowled over by I Am Kalam
Kalam, who had come to see the promo, was impressed by the promo of the film that revolves around the life of a poor Rajasthani boy, Chhotu, who is inspired by Abdul Kalam.
"While watching the film, some thoughts went in my mind… that I have met 12 million youth in a decade from all over the country," he said after watching the promo of the Nila Madhab Panda-directed film.
The movie tells the story of a poor boy, who is inspired by the former president so much so that he starts referring to himself as Kalam.
"The movie made me realise that every person can make changes in others lives. We should promote education in villages. I have started PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) scheme). We need to create employment to parents so that they can send their children to school," he said.
He also asked Panda to take his film to rural schools and colleges. Set in Bikaner, Rajasthan, I Am Kalam describes the hunger of Chhotu (played by Delhi slum boy Harsh Mayar) for education, something which he cannot aspire to have because of penury.
Chhotu starts referring to himself as Kalam after watching on TV the former president speak about how he got his education fighting several odds with the help of his prince friend (played by Hussan Saad of Delhi 6 fame).
Kalam said the right to education bill is not enough unless there are good primary school teachers, especially in remote villages.
Recalling his childhood, he said his dream to become a space scientist was given to him by his fifth class teacher, who radiated knowledge and purity.
Kalam said all these years he met so many youths. "I ask myself, `What have I learnt?` I have realised one thing that children are a big force. The ignited mind of the youth is the most powerful resource on the earth, above the earth and below the earth. We have got 600 million youth, no other democratic country has got this," he said.
"If you have great aim in life and acquire the knowledge, it does not matter who you are you will reach your goal. Urban education is not enough, good education must reach remote villages, " added Kalam.
"The recent Right to Education Bill that Parliament has passed for compulsory free education is not sufficient. We need good primary teachers because he will create a creative classroom," he said.
"My aim to become a space scientist was because of my fifth class school teacher. I was a 10-year-old child in British India of 1941. I was studying in a panchayat school. I remember my science teacher Shiv Subramani Aiyar and he once taught us about how the birds fly. He even took us to sea shore to show us how they flew and changed the direction. This is where my dream was born. I knew that I will do something related to flight. I took physics, learnt about aeronautics engineer and space scientist," Kalam recalled.
The film premiered at 63rd Cannes Film Festival on May 12 and has been showcased in various film festivals bagging various awards and honors.