We are delighted to report that the former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has won the 2011 S.R. Jindal Prize for Exemplary Service to Mankind in the field of Science and Technology. Dr. Kalam has decided to divide his prize money - a total of Rs. 1 Crore (about $200,000) - among four institutions, including the Agastya International Foundation. Each will receive Rs. 25 Lakhs (about $50,000). In accordance with Dr. Kalam's wishes, Agastya will use its portion to expand the rural science lab program in Bihar.
The Agastya Foundation is deeply honoured by Dr. Kalam's generosity: as a pioneering aerospace engineer and rocket scientist, he ranks among India's best and brightest scientific minds. The award letter makes clear that Dr. Kalam chose to share his prize money with Agastya because it is an institution that is "rendering extraordinary services to mankind." His gift is thus a testament to the importance of our educational mission, to bring science, mathematics, and the arts to even the remotest corners of rural India - and thereby to spark creativity in the rising generations.
We offer our warmest congratulations to Dr. Kalam on this well-deserved award, and our gratitude for his largesse. His gift will touch the lives of thousands of children in Bihar, and its benefits are sure to be felt long into the future.