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Dream big, be unique, Kalam tells students

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NAGPUR, 7th December, 2011:- India’s ‘Missile Man’ and former President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam has exhorted the young generation to dream big and strive hard to be unique. Addressing a huge gathering of students in Nagpur as part of the centenary celebrations of a local school, Dr. Kalam said: “Dream big. Ride high on big dreams, so that later on in life, you should not regret having dreamed of small things. Dreaming small is a crime.” He told the children to develop the trait of the ‘Unique U’ in themselves: “The world out there wants you to be like everyone else, but I want you to strive hard to be unique. Continuously strive to acquire knowledge about the world around you as it will give you power. Read as much as you can.” He encouraged kids to overcome their problems and cited examples of well-known people. “Learn to tackle problems, which will always be there. Tackle them with perseverance. You cannot cross the hurdles in life without determination. Work hard, as there is no alternative to hard work. With perseverance and hard work, you will definitely get results,” he said. He also laid stress on integrity: “I want you to work with integrity and succeed with integrity,” he said. There are many professions in addition to the traditional ones where the youngsters could create a niche for themselves, he also said. Fondly called ‘Kalam Uncle,’ the former President listed the achievements of ten great people, right from Thomas Alva Edison to Sachin Tendulkar, and asked the students to identify them. “Each of these personalities pursued their own dreams in life. They did not spend time trying to be like everyone else. They charted their own course, and became an inspiration for others,” he said. Dr. Kalam narrated the story of Mario Capecchi, who won the Nobel Prize in 2007  for his pioneering work in genetics, which is likely to help find cure for Alzheimer’s and cancer.  Capecchi had an extremely difficult childhood, but overcame the hurdles to become a molecular geneticist, Dr. Kalam told students.

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