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Namaste Madam President Droupadi Murmu

The beauty of democracy lies in an opportunity for all to reach the topmost post. The road to being crowned is through education that gives us a leonine personality and the power to roar all around and soar into the sky. With Ms Droupadi Murmu being elected for the highest constitutional post in the Indian democracy is a case in point. This beckons us to embrace education and stay positive, irrespective of the situation we are put in. Let’s salute India for an electoral system where chances are that an individual from any background may scale a new high.

Sixty-four-old Droupadi Murmu is the first tribal and the second woman to become President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. It sends across a strong positive message to take a leaf from. Let’s look at her streak of success in succession, barring personal setbacks and the tragedies of losing two sons and her soul- mate.

She was born into the Santhal family in the state of Orissa on 20th June, 1958. Her success story began with her decision to go for higher education after completing primary schooling in 19 71. She received her high school education from Capital Girls’ High School, Bhubaneswar. Interestingly, she was the first girl in Uparbeda to go to college — the Ramadevi Women’s College where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1979. The college she went to, gained the status of Ramadevi Women’s University, Bhubaneswar.

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To begin her career, she started working as a junior assistant in the irrigation and power department of the Odisha government in the year she graduated. However, she took up a teaching job at the Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur in 1994. In between, it was 1981 when she tied the knot with Shyam Charan Murmu, a banker by profession.

To begin her political innings, she served as a councilor, winning an election to the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat in 1997 as a BJP Candidate. Her political pursuits continued. For the first time on a BJP ticket, she was elected to the Odisha Assembly in 2000 and served as a Minister till 2004.

She had a say in the state government as she held the portfolio of Commerce and Transport and, subsequently, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry. As Transport Minister she was credited with having set up transport offices in all 58 subdivisions of the state. She also served as vice-president of the BJP Scheduled Tribes Morcha.

It was 2015 when she was sworn in as the first woman Governor of Jharkhand where the BJP government led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das passed amendments to two- century-old land laws — the Chhotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act. This would have ensured an easy transfer of land for industrial use. However, considering the widespread protests by tribes who believed that the move would limit their rights over land, she returned the Bills and asked the government to clarify how the amendments would benefit the tribal. The refusal to give her assent to controversial Bills passed by the government of the party to which she had herself belonged, earned her wide admiration and respect. Thus, she is a woman of her volition and firm conviction.

Contributed by Dr. Birbal Jha. Dr. Jha is the managing director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd having British Lingua as a Trademark.

Views expressed are personal

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