mangalore today

Abdul Kalam turns movie star

Chetan R / Mid-Day

Bangalore, Feb 22: Former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam will soon be seen in a new role -- that of an actor. Dr  Kalam has chosen the world’s youngest pilot and trainee astronaut from Bangalore, Shriya Dinakar, to put his thoughts into action. Shriya had become the world’s youngest pilot, by flying a microlite and Cessna aircraft.

Shreya saran 1

Dr Kalam, besides helping Shriya realise her dream of making a movie, will act in a flick for the first time ever. The movie, which has over eight songs, will talk about living on Mars, and global warming.

"That’s the way Dr Kalam has chosen to inspire young Indians, who are the future of the country," said Giriraju Dinakar, Shriya’s father, "He is an inspiration to my daughter."

The movie is looking at an April release in Kannada, and later in English. It will make an attempt to pictorially present the gravity of global warming. Dr Kalam decided to name the movie Billion Dollar Baby, named after Billion Beats, the e-paper run by, dedicated to inspire young India. The film will be shot across India, Russia, France and Mauritius, where Shriya, a student of National Center for Excellence, attended various space-training sessions.

"All this has been possible because of Dr Kalam. We hope to inspire as many kids as possible through the movie," said Shriya, who wants to be the first woman to land on Mars. "We have made a commitment that the funds we get after repaying the loan on the movie will be donated to the Abdul Kalam Foundation, which will use them to educate the poor in Karnataka," added Dinakar.

Others who have agreed to make an appearance in the movie are renowned environmentalists Suresh Heblikar and Shivadwaj and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yedyurappa.