“You have to dream before your dreams can come true”
– APJ Abdul Kalam
27th July, 2015 would be remembered in the history of India as the day that India lost one of its most prized possessions. This is in reference to none other than Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Born on 15th October,1931 in a small hamlet town of Rameshwaram, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam reigned supreme on the heart of every Indian, young and old alike. His charm was in his simplicity and humility. Fondly called as the “Missile Man” of India and “the People’s President” he was and is an inspiration to many and will indisputably remain an inspiration for generations to come.
Dr. Kalams journey is a journey unmatched in its width and heights. In the ’60s and ’70s he was a trail blazer in the space department. In the ’80s he transformed the stagnant Defence Research and Development Laboratory in Hyderabad into a highly motivated team. By the ’90s Dr. Kalam emerged as the czar of Indian science and technology and was awarded the Bharat Ratna. His life and mission is a testament of what a determined person can achieve against extraordinary odds. Even at 83, he was tireless and dreamed of making India into a technological superpower. More importantly, he was still capable of acting on it.
The Former Indian President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam always said that for sustained economic growth, only innovation and technology could help. He always believed that any and all of his technology was for the nation. There are many such instances enlisted here which prove that Dr.Kalam and Intellectual property shared a really unique and an unheard of relationship.
While Most of his achievements involved defense technology. In order to safeguard national security, none of it was made public. There was never a patent granted to any of his inventions particularly because of the provisions of the Indian Patent Act. While he could patent many other inventions, he never expressed the desire to. Some of his patentable inventions include:
- A low-cost Coronary Stent that he developed along with Dr. Soma Raju, a cardiologist, in 1998. It was named “Kalam-Raju Stent” after them. Both of them also designed a tablet PC called “Kalam-Raju Tablet” for healthcare in rural areas.
- He and his team used rocket science for designing an artificial limb weighing just 300 grams. And he cherishes it more than launching rockets. The late Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam is believed to have said that it was “bliss” to see children smile after wearing the light-weight prosthesis on their legs designed by him and his team. While the traditional calliper costs between Rs. 1,850 and Rs. 2,300, the light one costs only Rs. 850.
Quoted below is an address by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam that he made to gathering of 1 lakh students in Kochi.
“The next important event I would like to share with you is about the fitment of FRO (Floor Reaction Orthosis) to a polio affected child. During my visit to one of the hospitals in Hyderabad, I found one child was struggling to walk with an artificial limb weighing over 3 kgs. At the request of Prof. Prasad of NIMS, Head of orthopedic department at that time, I asked my AGNI friends why we cannot use the composite material used for AGNI heat shield for fabricating FROs for polio affected patients. They immediately said it is possible. We worked on this project for some time and came up with a FRO for the child weighing around 300 gms. Exactly, 1/10th of the weight which the child was carrying. The doctors helped us to fit the new light weight FRO on the child and the child started walking and running around. Her parents were also present. Tears rolled down on all of them through the joy of seeing their daughter running with light caliper. With the light weight device provided by the hospital she could run, ride a bicycle and do all sorts of things which she had been denied for a long time. The removal of the pain and the freedom attained by the child gave me a state of bliss which I never experienced during any of the four major events which I described earlier.”
Apart from the fact that Dr. Kalam himself took on the onus of bringing joy to the physically challenged children, he was also instrumental in coaxing the companies with potential to make a difference by actively taking up Corporate Social Responsibility (M.C. Jayasingh Vs. Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) rep. by its Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited and Cancer Institute (W.I.A) (Regional Cancer Centre) Civil Suit No. 562 of 2007).
Dr. Kalam was a visionary par excellence: It was Dr. Kalam who first proposed the linking of river waters back in 2002. As the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, had called for a focused approach to intellectual property rights and sought private sector initiatives in the area of technology generation for information protection.
Another one of his addresses quoted here depicts the kind of vision he had seen for India:
“Today India has become one of the strongest in the world in terms of scientific manpower in capability and maturity. Hence, we are in a position not only to understand the technologies that we may have to borrow, but also to create our own technologies with extensive scientific inputs of indigenous origin. Basically we have come a long way since our independence, from mere buyers of technology to those of who have made science and technology as an important contributor for national development and societal transformation. In a world where the powers are determined by their share of the world’s knowledge, reflected by patents, papers and so on, the WTO starts to play a crucial role in the economic development. It is important for India to put all her acts together to become a continuous innovator and creator of science and technology intensive products”.
In this light I would like to paraphrase Mark Antony’s lines from Julius Caesar; “Here was a Kalam, when comes such another?” We at Banana IP Counsels salute this great man who personified excellence and simplicity. Humble tributes and salutations to you from the SiNApSE team. May your soul Rest in Peace dear Sir.
Authored by Gaurav Mishra.