The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fall can’t faze Kalam
Kalam after the fall. (AFP)

New Delhi, March 1: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today stumbled and fell on the dais at a public function. But he was unhurt, and carried on as if nothing had happened.

The incident took place at the annual Sangeet Natak Akademi awards function. The culprit appeared to be an elderly award-winner’s walking stick, on which Kalam tripped as he passed by his chair.

One moment, the 75-year-old President was walking briskly to the lectern to deliver his address; the next, he stumbled and fell.

But Kalam was immediately up on his feet and was delivering his speech. Later, he posed for photographs with the award winners. “I was impressed,’’ said an official in the audience.

The protruding walking stick belonged to N. Khelchandra Singh, a Manipuri scholar honoured by Kalam minutes before with an Akademi fellowship.

The four other awardees were Punjabi theatre personality Gursharan Singh, tabla maestro Kishan Maharaj, kathak guru Rohini Bhate and Carnatic music exponent T.N. Krishnan.

Thirty-three others received the Akademi Award for 2006.

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