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Draupadi Murmu: A Seasoned Santal Leader With a Long List of Firsts

Draupadi Murmu becomes the 15th President of India. A tribal leader from Odisha, becomes the first tribal President and second female President of India.

Draupadi Murmu Indias 15th President

Draupadi Murmu, a tribal leader from Odisha, becomes the first tribal President and second female President of India. Murmu was first mentioned as a possible successor to President Pranab Mukherjee five years ago when he was due to leave Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Draupadi Murmu has achieved a lot of firsts. She became the first tribal woman to be nominated as a contender for India’s top constitutional post when the BJP-led NDA chose her as its presidential nominee.

When she was appointed as Jharkhand’s governor in 2015, she became the position’s first female occupant. She also made history by becoming the first native woman to serve as the governor of her home state of Odisha.

While the NDA appears to have made a significant political statement by choosing to concentrate on tribal groups, Murmu is an accomplished tribal leader from the Santal ethnic group. The Santals are the largest tribe in Jharkhand and are also found in Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and West Bengal.

Draupadi Murmu Early Days:

Born on June 20, 1958, in Baidaposi village of Mayurbhanj district, Murmu began her political career in 1997 as an Odisha member and vice-chairperson of the Rairangpur civic body. She was appointed vice-president of the Odisha BJP’s ST morcha the same year.

She was elected Rairangpur MLA in 2000 as part of a coalition government formed by the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal. She was the minister of state (independent charge) for Odisha’s department of transport and commerce from 2000 to 2004, and also assumed in charge of the state’s fisheries department in 2002 and the animal husbandry department from 2002 to 2004.

Murmu, who came from a poor background and battled poverty and personal tragedy in one of the nation’s most isolated and impoverished districts, advanced through the political ranks. But her zeal to serve society trumped her education and she completed her education with a BA from Ramadevi Women’s College in Bhubaneshwar.

The roles she held with the Saffron Party are a reflection of her extensive political and administrative expertise. She served as a national executive member of the BJP’s ST morcha from 2002 to 2009. In 2004, she was re-elected Rairangpur MLA, and from 2006 to 2009, she served as the state president of the BJP’s ST morcha.

She received the “Nilakantha Award for Best MLA” from the legislative assembly in 2007 in recognition of her exceptional work. She worked for the government of Odisha from 1979 to 1983 as a junior assistant in the irrigation and power sector. Additionally, she has worked as a volunteer teacher at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Center in Rairangpur.

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Written by Yashika Goel

From Arts and Journalism background, Yashika is a graphic designer and content writer living in Delhi. When not working, you’ll find me eating pasta, travelling, reading books, drinking coffee or painting. Join me as I learn more about myself and show you how to love life daily!

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