While nation mourns the death of the ‘Peoples’ president’, an orphaned girl, from a far flung village of Odisha, remembers a 10-year-old gesture of APJ Abdul Kalam towards her HIV positive siblings.

“For me, he was a saviour. My younger brother and sister were HIV/AIDS carriers. My infected siblings are alive today, thanks to the timely intervention of Kalam uncle,” she said requesting not to be named.

“I was overwhelmed with joy when the postman had brought me a letter signed by the then President and a draft of Rs 20,000 in June, 2005. I had written to Kalam uncle highlighting the plight of my siblings,” the woman of Olaver village in Kendrapara district recalled.

Source: Dailymail

“At that time, I was hardly 11-year-old while my siblings were six and four-years-old. As my parents had passed away, I was looking after them. I had learned from media that he was people’s president. He loved children. I wrote a letter to him,” she said.

Kalam intervened and the local administration came to family’s rescue. After that, help also started pouring in from various quarters, she said.

The chief minister’s office had also offered a Rs 20,000 financial grant. It was the president’s gesture which had brought about a change of heart in the health officials, the woman said.

“They had begun to pay added medical attention towards my brother and sister. My siblings have successfully fought against AIDS since past one decade. The presidential intervention had given a new lease of life to them. We are deeply sad over his demise. I feel as if I have lost a close member of my family,” she said.

Source: The New Indian Express

A resident of Ramnagar district too remembered Kalam and condoled his death.

“We are bonafide citizens of this country. But the administration had branded us Bangladeshis and had been served notice to leave India on January 15, 2005. We dispatched post cards to the then President Kalam,” Prafulla Mistry said.

“The President intervened and sought a report. A month later, the deportation drive was put on hold. We believe that union government suspended deportation because of presidential intervention. His death is a personal loss to us,” Mistry said.

Read more:

Five Speeches Of APJ Abdul Kalam That Will Keep His Memory Alive Forever

16 Facts About APJ Abdul Kalam’s Life That Will Make You Respect Him Even More

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Has Passed Away But His Inspiring Words Will Live On Forever