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Into the life of Droupadi Murmu, India’s first President hailing from a tribal community

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President Droupadi Murmu
 
As the world celebrates ‘The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples’ on the 9th of August, The CSR Journal takes a look into the life and journey of Droupadi Murmu, India’s first ever president hailing from a tribal community.

India’s 15th president

India’s 15th and current president, Droupadi Murmu assumed office on the 25th of July, 2022. Not only the nation’s first ever president hailing from the tribal community, she is also the first president of the country born in Independent India. Murmu is the second woman after Pratibha Patil (2007-2012) to hold the highest office. She is also a former cabinet minister of Odisha and has served as the 9th Governor of Jharkhand (2015-2021) before being elected as the President of India.

Early life and education

Droupadi Murmu was born as Puti Biranchi Tudu in June, 1958 to a Santhal tribe family in Uperbeda village, in Rairangpur tehsil of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. Her father Biranchi Narayan Tudu was a farmer. Later renamed as Droupadi, she did her schooling from Unit II High School and graduation in Arts (B.A) from the prestigious Rama Devi Woemn’s College (now Rama Devi Women’s University).

Marriage and family

Despite being an inspiring public figure, President Murmu has battled many a tragedy in her personal life. Droupadi tied the knot with Shyam Charan Murmu, a banker in 1980. She gave birth to two sons and a daughter. She lost her husband and both sons between 2009 and 2014. Her daughter Itishree Murmu is a banker, while her son-in-law Ganesh Hembram is a rugby player.

Early career

Before entering the political arena, Murmu has worked as a school teacher at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research Centre in Rairangpur, where she used to teach a variety of subjects like Hindi, Odia, Mathematics and Geography. She was also employed in the role of junior assistant at the Irrigation Department of the Government of Odisha.

Political career

Droupadi Murmu’s political career began in the year 1997 after being elected as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor in the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat. Later, she became an MLA from the same constituency. She has served as the Minister of State, Odisha with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development.
Murmu served as the 9th Governor of Jharkhand from May 2015 to July, 2021. She was not only the first female Governor of Jharkhand but also the first tribal woman Governor of any Indian state.
Swearing-in-ceremony of President Droupadi Murmu

President of India

Droupadi Murmu assumed office as the 15th President of India on the 25th of July this year.

Her popular quotes

After assuming office on 25th July, President Murmu had tweeted greeting the citizens of India. She wrote, “Johar! Namaskar! I humbly greet all the fellow citizens from this sacred Parliament, a symbol of the hopes, aspirations and rights of all the citizens of India. Your affection, trust and support will be my greatest strength in discharging my functions and responsibilities.”
Throwing light on her background and struggles, she has mentioned in a tweet written in Hindi, “Maine apni jeevan jatra Odisha k ek chhote se adivasi gaon se shuru kiy thi. Main jis prishthbhoomi se aati hoon, wahan mere liye prathmik shiksha prapt karna bhi ek sapne jaisa hi tha. Lekin anek badhaon ke bawajood mera sankalp dridh raha aur main college jaanewali apni gaon ki pehli beti bani.” (I started my life from a small tribal village in Odisha. From the background I come from, it was like a dream for me to even get primary education. But despite many obstacles, my resolve remained strong and I became the first daughter of my village to go to college.)
She has also tweeted addressing the youth of the nation encouraging them. She wrote in Hindi, “Main apne desh ke yuvaon se kehna chahti hoon ki aap na keval apne bhavishya ka nirmaan kar rahe hain balki bhavishya ke Bharat ke neenv bhi rakh rahe hai. Desh ke rashtrapati ke taur par mera hamesha aapko pura sahyog rahega.” (I want to tell the youth of our country that you are not only building your future but also laying the foundation of the future India. As the President of the country, you will always have my full cooperation and support.)