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Dr. Abdul Kalam, Former Indian President, Visits St. Anthony's College Shillong

By Fr. Paul D. Passah
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Kolkata, Mar. 8.
St. Anthony's College had the privileged of hosting the visit of our Former President, A P J Adbul Kalam, on 6th March 2013, along with a good number of students from 37 respective schools, in and around Shillong. His Grace, Rev. Arch Bishop Dominic Jala (Shillong Diocese), blessed the occasion with an introductory prayer in the presence of Rev. Fr. Shaji Stephen, the Rector, Rev. Br. Albert L. Dkhar, the Principal, the faculty members and many others.
In his speech, Dr. Kalam expressed his joy and happiness to see the mission of the deemed College in its striving for excellence in the way of life with the motto, ''Ever More Ever Better.'' He told the youth, ''It doesn't matter who you are. You will win.'' Furthermore, he exhorted them saying, ''The ignited mind of the Youth is the most powerful resource on earth.''

Dr. Kalam encouraged them to transform their minds from ''What I can take?'' to the principle of ''What can I give?''. He also implanted the seeds of optimism into the heart of every young soul by affirming, ''No youth today need to fear about the future.'' Youth today should strive for a 'Culture of Excellence', by focusing on their dreams, by taking calculated risks, and through perseverance achieve their goals even amidst failures and challenges in life, Dr. Kalam said. He reminded them, ''You are not in competition with anyone else, but yourselves.''

Experience, Dr. Kalam said, proves that ''every youth wants to be unique, YOU! But the world is doing its best, day and night, to make them just everybody else.'' He inflamed the heart of each and every student to fight the hardest battle and never stop fighting until they arrive at their destined place, that is, a ''UNIQUE YOU!''

Dr. Kalam's meeting with a visually challenged boy who wishes to become the first visually challenged President of India, made him declare, that 'small aim is a crime.' He said, ''It doesn't matter who you are if you have a vision and determination to achieve your vision, you will certainly achieve.''

In order to be achievers in life, Dr. Kalam suggested the 4 proven steps:
a. Have a great aim in life before 20 years of age.
b. Acquire knowledge continuously.
c. Work hard towards the aim.
d. Persevere to defeat problems and to succeed.

In life, he said, we should always ask ourselves, ''What I will be remembered for?'' He told the students, ''you have to evolve yourself and shape your life.''

Later, the students were given the opportunity to interact with the former President and were enlightened with his store of knowledge and wisdom.
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