Dr.Kalam's Letter

From:Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam [mailto:apj@abdulkalam.com]
Sent:Friday, May 15, 2015 10:32 AM
To:‘Jeroninio Almeida’
Subject:Thank you for the Karmaveer Honour!

Dear Jeroninio,

“Namaste. At the outset, let me thank you for making the time for meeting with me and spending a day with me to discuss your various initiatives. I was energized and enthused by all your noble, humanitarian work and patriotic energy. If possible we must meet once every month and exchange ideas and views to work towards championing change together. I had heard about your work earlier from my friends Smt. Kavita Kumar, Shri. James Michael Lyngdoh, Shri. Shashi Tharoor, Shri. Arun Shourie and Shri Vasant Sathe. However after listening to you speak, I have a better perspective now. Your passion to make a difference and be the change is truly contagious and inspiring. I am pleased to partner with you, to promote what I call, “devotion to the nation”.

I wish to thank you and your advisory board for accepting my Karmaveer Puraskaar, Lifetime achievement award nomination. I am highly obliged to you for walking me through the history and process of the Karmaveer Puraskaar awards program. I must congratulate you and your team for working hard, over many years, towards creating and sustaining a highly valed, coveted and credible awards program. I am also very grateful to Baby Benzy and Smt. Kavita Kumar for their kind gesture of recommending my nomination for the Karmaveer Puraskaar. I am humbled with all your trust in me and my work. I thank each and all of you for considering me worthy and deserving to be chosen as your Karmaveer Puraskaar Noble Laureate.

It was an enriching experience, meeting with you and discussing so many of your compelling ideas for action. I respect your enthusiasm and nationalistic commitment to influence change. All movements like Joy of Giving, Right every Wrong, Karmaveer Awards, REX, which you all have created and promoted over the years are highly commendable and inspiring. I appreciate your idea to begin the International Volunteering Olympiad. The idea to inspire solid character in young students, through partnerships with schools and colleges, has great potential to marshal change in our country. I feel it is a timely step in the right direction.

I am happy to address our young student leaders in schools and colleges to join the movement and become champions of change. I have a book titled, “Children ask Kalam”. We can also create a book series titled “Children and Students ask Kalam”, based on my interactions with the students, about our responsibilities, duties and ideas to be the change. I also echo your sentiments about the need to practice human values and fulfill our fundamental duties as citizens of this great nation. I have also shared thoughts similar to yours, in my books like Envisioning an Empowered Nation, Inspiring Thoughts and Ignited Minds. I absolutely agree with you, that India will have a better future and become a truly great nation, when we change the mindset and attitudes of our people, children and youth.

This has inspired me over the years to engage with youth and children to inspire them to serve the nation. I respect your slogan – “I change to change India”. I also share your belief that India will change only when each of us changes. Together we are a force and can inspire the world. This is possible when each of our 1 billion people become champions of change. Thus, I am honored and privileged to be chosen as your Ambassador for the International Volunteering Olympiad. I humbly accept your invitation to be your Ambassador for the International Volunteering Olympiad mission.

I also read your book Karma Kurry. Thank you so much for gifting me a special copy. I was very touched by your personalised message. Over the past few days I have read the stories of Smt. Anu Aga, Smt. Anita Pratap, Smt. Rohini Nilekani, Shri. Sailesh Mishra, Shri. Lakshman Singh, Shri. Subhasini Mistry, Shri. Geeta Chandran, Shri. Kumi Naidoo and Dr. Chinkolal Thangsing. The stories are highly motivating and awe inspiring. I intend to complete the whole book next week. I found your human interest, real hero stories, more powerful than the features in the Chicken Soup series, which are also my favourite books. Jerry, you are India’s answer to Jack Canfield and a Rockstar Storyteller.

Jerry, I have a humble request regarding my nomination. I read through the website and trivia booklet to learn more about the criteria for the Karmaveer Puraskaar awards. I agree with Dr. Verghese Kurien that the Karmaveer award is the most credible honor, because of your guiding principles of egalitarianism,
simplicity, austerity, fairness and integrity.
I have huge respect for Dr. Verghese Kurien, who was a dear friend and your first lifetime achievement award recipient. Therefore, I feel, that I need to do more in my personal capacity, to deserve the lifetime achievement award which all of you have nominated me for. would therefore request you to kindly accept.

I would therefore request you to kindly accept my regrets, since I would not like to accept the lifetime achievement award at this time. Let me do more to serve the nation and society. Let me begin add value as your chief believer and ambassador to promote the International Volunteering Olympiad. Once I have done that, I shall consider myself to be more worthy and deserving for the lifetime achievement award. Till then you may nominate me for the forthcoming year as your Rex Karmaveer Global Fellow. I would love to be a part of the fellowship and attend the Rex Forum as your chosen fellow. I assure you, that I shall adhere to the No VIP culture and shall blend in as one of your many fellows. I shall participate as a silent spectator, to learn and collaborate with all other like-minded fellows in the gathering. I also agree to attend the Rex Forum, without any security entourage.

Thank you once again for all your kind courtesies and the great honour bestowed upon me. I am optimistic about our International Volunteering Olympiad mission for promoting a volunteering culture in India. I look forward to making a valuable contribution as an integral member of the Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship.

Yours sincerely
APJ Abdul Kalam