Bhubaneswar: Noted sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Tuesday created a sand sculpture at Puri beach to pay tribute to former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who died following cardiac arrest in Meghalaya on Monday while delivering a lecture.

He said Kalam had given him a cheque of Rs.3,000 from his personal account at that time to continue the art of making sand sculptures.

The four-feet-high sand sculpture carries the message “Tribute to a Common Man, Missile Man, Bharat Ratna, People’s President”.

“He was the first president who had invited me to Rashtrapati Bhawan in 2005, when I was not famous. He encouraged me a lot to carry on the sand art,” said Pattnaik.

“Today we lost the people’s president and a simple-hearted person with beautiful mind and soul, who will continue to be an inspiration to the youth of the nation,” said Pattnaik.

Many students of Pattnaik’s sand art institute and residents gathered near the sculpture to pay their tributes.

Source: IANS