2 ‘I’s in India. 2 ‘I’s in Inspired. In you, we find the next ‘I’.
To script a song for unsung heroes.
To take India forward.
An inspiring journey, beyond dreams...

Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture
BrahMos story inspires future Sarabhais, Kalams | 2018

‘BrahMos’, the fastest cruise missile in the world, developed in India, is not named after the legendary Brahmastra. On the contrary, it is an amalgamation of the names of two mighty rivers. It represents the might and ferocity of river Brahmaputra of India and the grace of river Moskva of Russia.

This was among the interesting nuggets of information shared by Dr S.K.Mishra, CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, at the third Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture and annual Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF) awards ceremony held on October 30, 2018 in Bangalore.

Following the welcome address by Dr Kota Harinarayana, chief designer of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), and who is the Patron of IIF, Chief Guest Dr S.K.Mishra held the audience spellbound with a presentation on BrahMos — both the organization and the supersonic cruise missile it has developed. In his talk, titled ‘Lock on to target’, Dr Mishra recalled the genesis of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and NPOM of Russia, and Dr Abdul Kalam’s contribution in helping to set it up.

After dwelling on the incredible capabilities of this supersonic missile, Dr Mishra also explained why it was important to acquire military might despite the general opinion that the money spent on acquiring military capabilities could be put to better use if it was diverted to providing food, clothing and shelter, especially in a developing country like India.

Admitting that he had posed the same question to Dr Abdul Kalam as a young scientist, Dr Mishra said Dr Kalam had underlined how important it was for a nation to be perceived as “strong”. “Strength respects strength”, and once the country’s military security was taken care of, it could concentrate on development without frittering away its energies on fobbing off attacks from pesky neighbours. Following Dr Mishra’s talk which was peppered with interesting anecdotes of Dr Kalam, the Inspired Indian Awards were given away.

The 3rd G Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award was given to Jugal Purohit, Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC India for both his contribution to the field of journalism as well as his inspiring fight with —and triumph over — a serious health condition.

Wg Cdr P Ashoka (Retd), Test Pilot, a sprightly 84, was given the IIF Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the field of aviation.
Mohd Asim, a little boy from Kerala born without hands, who is fighting for the school in his village to be upgraded to a higher secondary school was the next awardee.
Ravi Kambli, a tea-seller from Bidar who is now the proud owner of a hotel, was given the Inspired Indian award for his entrepreneurial spirit.
Murugan T V, who saved hundreds of lives during the recent Kerala floods despite his own house being washed away, won the award for his incredible selflessness and bravery.
The next awardee was Archana D S, a Karnataka Police Constable, who nursed and breastfed an abandoned baby. She was awarded the Inspired Indian award for going far beyond the call of duty. Sudarshan Shinde, a Mumbai Police Constable, who saved many lives during the Kamala Mills fire, risking his own life, got the Inspired Indian award for his extraordinary bravery.

S Satyanarayana, a Structural Engineer from Hyderabad, who went beyond his brief in designing the Guru Kalam National Memorial in Rameswaram and ensuring completion of the project in record time, without charging a single rupee for his effort, was the next awardee.

Manasi Joshi, an amputee and a national para-badminton player, who represents India at international events, won the Inspired Indian award for her exceptional grit and tenacity and the cheerfulness with which she bounced back from a life-altering episode.

The 10th awardee was a group — the young Team HTT-40 of ARDC, HAL, which is working on the Hindustan Turbo Trainer Aircraft-40 with single-minded devotion.
Sheik Saleem, grandson of Dr Abdul Kalam, congratulated the awardees on behalf of the House of Kalam. Abdul Azeem, an auto driver with a silken voice, whose talent was spotted by Inspired Indian Foundation, treated the audience to a melodious Kishore Kumar number. He was honoured by Dv Nagoor Roja, grand niece of Guru Kalam.

At the panel discussion that followed, the awardees answered question from the audience, especially students, who were rewarded with books from Indian Space Research Organisation. While the message from every awardee was inspiring, the most inspiring was the one from Jugal Purohit, who, on a personal request from Dr Mishra, detailed his fight with cancer and how he had won. His incredible positivity and the message he sent out — that cancer is not the end of the world — got thunderous applause.

Also inspiring was the message of Wg Cdr P Ashoka (Retd), who explained the value of discipline in life, especially to youngsters in the audience. Describing it as a “resolution to do what you must even if you don’t want to do it”, he said it is an all-embracing term which makes your life value-based, makes you do the right thing, and does not let you rest unless you do the right thing. Volunteers of the Inspired Indian Foundation were presented mementoes in recognition of their devotion to the cause.

The No 1 Air Force band kept the audience engaged with lively tunes and with its stirring rendition of the National Anthem.

(You can catch the entire proceeding of the event on Billion Beats YouTube channel by following the below links.)

Rakesh Sharma enthralls audience with stories from space | 2017

The second Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture and annual Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF) awards ceremony was held on October 11, 2017 in Bangalore. The lecture was delivered by India’s first and only man to have travelled in space, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (Retd). He spoke on the topic: “Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and His Relevance to Contemporary Indian Society”.

Theorising that successive failures lead to introspection, which eventually results in success, he said: “Failure is not the be-all and end- all of one’s life. When you keep failing you will introspect and change your approach, which will result in success.”

Boundaries exist only on earth. From space there are no boundaries visible, remarked the cosmonaut, sharing his experience of space travel.

Rueing the corruption plaguing the nation he said: “Back in those days society used to look down upon the corrupt and people used to hesitate to before taking money to do their work. But now it is the norm to take money and demand money to do work.”

Stressing on the importance of nation building, he said this should be accorded top priority today. We need to march towards progress with risk-taking, progressive and empathetic professionals, he added.

Pointing out that opportunities needed to be grabbed, he said: “I grabbed the opportunities I got. When I got a chance to be in space I took it. That has made a difference.”

Later, the Inspired Indian awards were conferred on people who have rendered yeoman service in various fields.

Rajeev Kumar Mishra of the Rajasthan Patrika was awarded the 2 nd G Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award.

Air Vice-Marshal Ajit Lamba (Retd) was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to military aviation.

Former Director of CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories Shyam Shetty was awarded the Inspired Indian Award for his contributions to the field of aeronautics.

Anthony Swamy, a cremator at the Kalpali Crematorium since 1988 and a selfless soul who performs the final rites of unclaimed bodies won the Inspired Indian Award for Social Service.

Harsha N, a victim of polio and a dedicated social worker who takes care of terminally ill patients got the Inspiring Indian Award in the field of Healthcare.

A P Sreethar, a self-taught artist from Tamil Nadu was conferred the award for Art and Culture.

Recognizing his contributions to the field of Badminton, U Vimal Kumar, Saina Nehwal’s coach who has represented India for 12 years as a badminton player, was conferred the Inspiring Indian Award.

In recognition of his dedication to his work, Rajesh A Armstrong was conferred the Inspiring Indian Award for Passion.

Noted Sarangi player Sarfaraaz Khan of the Kirana Gharana Music Academy was conferred the Inspired Indian Youth Award for his contributions in the field of music.

In recognition of her contribution to the field of classical dance, Kathak dancer Jayanthi M Eshwarputhi was awarded on the occasion.

Siddappa A Itagi, a teacher from Athani who has pioneered the concept of ‘Ekopadhya’ which practices "Ek Shikshak, Ek Vidyalaya" meaning "one teacher for every school” was awarded for his contribution in the field of education.

Recognizing their contributions to the construction of the Abdul Kalam memorial in Rameswaram, Ajay Singh and Bishwajeet Choubey were conferred with the Inspired Indian award.

Paintings by paratrooper Renjith C Thalavoor, Sheela Das, and eight- year old Avanthika, and doodles by Anupama Jaiswal were auctioned. Also on auction were a leather-bound biography of ace badminton champ Prakash Padukone — Touch Play — written by Dev S Sukumar, bearing the champion’s autograph, a badminton racquet and T-shirt of badminton champion Saina Nehwal. The proceeds went to charity.


Youngsters must not waste time on social media: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-1

I sat in the cockpit at the age of 6 and it captured my imagination: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-2

I would still love to take my Mom to Pakistan once: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-3

I was only 21, when I flew 21 missions during 1971 War: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-4

My Mother wanted me to be the best in what ever I did: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-5

We smuggled some 'Amrut' to space station: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-6

We had a guitar onboard Soyuz; I carried a cassette player: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-7

I came down in flames during a Math exam at NDA: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-8

As I grow older, I'm becoming emotional: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-9

When you've Tricolour on your arm, performance goes beyond potential: Rakesh Sharma | #2GKML-10

Journalist Rajeev Mishra & Aviator AVM Ajit Lamba (Retd) receives IIF Awards 2017 | #2GKML-11

Coffee with Cosmonaut | Rakesh Sharma in conversation with Dr Anantha Krishnan | #2GKML-12

Glance at 2nd Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture & Annual Inspiring Indian Awards | #2GKML-13

When you make in India, the world will respect you: Dr Kota | 2016

Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF) along with New Horizon College of Engineering (NHCE) organised the first Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture in Bangalore on October 15, on the 85th birth anniversary of the people’s President.

Dr Kota Harinarayana, father of the Tejas fighter jet programme, delivered the maiden lecture on the topic ‘Strength respects strength.’ According to him, India could overtake China and even Japan in the next 10 years by focusing on better quality and productivity.

‘’The Make in India mandate of the current government is encouraging. When you make in India, the world will respect you. We all should be bhakts of the nation, like Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was. Innovation is the key,” Dr Kota said.

He added that if academics, industry and R&D organisations joined hands, then India could make rapid strides in the field of technology. “We need to be ahead of others in developing smart networking platforms, artificial intelligence, sensors and software, which would directly lead to technological development. We are fast moving into a network-centric warfare (NCW) mode and it is important that the technology needed for this is developed within the country itself,” Dr Kota said.

Taking the example of India's Tejas programme, Dr Kota said that initially nobody believed that India could master many cutting-edge technologies in the process of developing the fighter.

Dr Mohan Manghnani, Chairman, New Horizon Education Institutions said Dr Kalam is not only remembered for his contribution to space and defence, but for his simple life.

“He walked the talk always and that set him apart from the rest,” Dr Mohan said. Renowned Bharathanatayam and Kathak dancer Jayanthi M Eshwarputhi, Dr Manjunatha, Principal, NHCE, Dr Sheelan Misra, Head of Department of Management Studies and members of IIF were present during the occasion.

A large number of young engineers from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Aeronautical Development Agency were also present.