New Delhi: P.B. Acharya, governor of Assam and Nagaland, on Tuesday paid tributes to former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, reminding people that the 79th birthday of the silver-haired "people's president" was observed as World Students' Day.
"Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's 79th birthday was recognised as World Students' Day by the United Nations," Acharya said in a statement. October 15 is Kalam's birthday.
"He grabbed every opportunity to teach students, especially children, wherever he went. Administering a pledge on national development to the youth was his passion," the governor said.
"Dr. Kalam, who continued to be active even after demitting office (of the president of India) and travelled the length and breadth of the country delivering lectures and meeting people, died while doing what he loved best - talking to students."
Kalam, 83, was delivering a lecture on "Liveable Planet" at the Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management-Shillong on Monday evening when he collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest. He was declared dead at a hospital nearby where he was rushed to.
"Poverty was a challenge, not a hindrance and he (Kalam) became an achiever and icon to the people of India especially to the youth," Acharya said.
"The human side of Kalam's personality was as legendary as his scientific acumen."
Observing that Kalam's contributions to the nation as a prominent scientist, educationist and writer were memorable and praiseworthy, Acharya said the former president's death was "a great loss to our nation and also to the world".
"To build a strong, prosperous and peaceful India will be one true tribute to the departed soul," the governor said, as he expressed his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the people of Assam and Nagaland in separate statements.