The 15th President of India, Droupadi Murmu, was sworn in on Monday by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. The first tribal leader to hold India’s highest constitutional office is Murmu, who defeated opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha by a large majority.
With this victory, Murmu has a number of firsts to her name. In addition to being the first indigenous person elected to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Murmu, who is 64, would also be the youngest president of India to be born after Independence. In 2015, she was also the first woman to be named governor of Jharkhand. Murmu also made history by becoming the first tribal woman governor of her state of Odisha with that position.
Murmu is an accomplished tribal chief who belongs to the Santal ethnicity. In addition to being present in Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and West Bengal, the Santals are the biggest tribe in Jharkhand. Droupadi Murmu started her political career in 1997 as a councillor and vice-chairperson of the Rairangpur local body. She was born on June 20, 1958, in the hamlet of Baidaposi in the Mayurbhanj district. She was chosen to serve as the ST morcha’s vice president for Odisha in the same year.
When a coalition government between the BJP and Biju Janata Dal was formed in 2000, she was elected as the MLA for Rairangpur. From 2000 to 2004, she served as the minister of state (independent charge) for Odisha’s department of transportation and trade. She also took over the state’s departments of animal husbandry from 2002 to 2004 and of fisheries in 2002.
Despite coming from a lowly family and struggling with personal tragedies in one of the nation’s most isolated and undeveloped areas, Murmu progressed up the political ranks. But her desire to help people overcame this, and she finished her study at Ramadevi Women’s College in Bhubaneshwar, earning a BA.
The roles she had with the saffron party demonstrate her extensive political and administrative expertise. She was the national executive of the BJP’s ST morcha from 2002 until 2009. She was elected as the Rairangpur MLA once more in 2004. From 2006 to 2009, she served as the state head of the BJP’s ST morcha.
The legislative assembly honoured her with the “Nilakantha Award for Best MLA” in 2007 in recognition of her excellent efforts. She also worked for the government from 1979 to 1983 as a junior assistant in the irrigation and electricity division of the government of Odisha. She has also worked as a volunteer at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Center in Rairangpur, where she has taught without receiving payment.