After reaching Guwahati by flight, for Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the journey for Shillong started, and it was a 2.5 hours drive. Here’s what Shri Srijan Pal Singh, who would accompany Dr Kalam in his tours, writes:
We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, “Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment.
Can you ask a wireless message to given that he may sit?” I had to convince him, he has been probably instructed to keep standing for better security. He did not relent. We tried radio messaging, that did not work. For the next 1.5 hours of the journey, he reminded me thrice to see if I can hand signal him to sit down.
Finally, realizing there is little we can do – he told me, “I want to meet him and thank him”. Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. “Are you tired? Would you like something to eat?
I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me”. The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, “Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge”.
Below is the photo of Dr. Kalam meeting the meeting the jawan who stood in the gypsy.
De-briefing of this Story
There are many things to learn from Kalam Sir. But one thing which always stands out is his “Humbleness.” Hope we all learn that quality from him.
There is no need to read even a single book on employee management if you have studied the life of Abdul Kalam sir. There are hundreds of stories like this which shows how nicely he treated his employees.
This story can be used to the share the importance of
3- Caring about others