Droupadi Murmu: A story of many firsts
The Odisha resident is India's first-ever tribal President
Newly elected Indian President Droupadi Murmu was the first person from her parental village to attend college
She began her career as a government clerk before joining politics
As Droupadi Murmu becomes the 15th President of India, her life and political career is once again under the microscope. Her village in Pahadpur is in a festive mood after she won the Presidential election on July 21 to become the first-ever tribal President of the nation.
Becoming the first-ever tribal President of India has been the crowning glory in the career of Murmu, however, she does have a habit of collecting firsts. Her life’s journey has not been easy, but can turn out to be an inspiring one for many in the coming years.
Droupadi Murmu is the first person from her paternal village, Uperbeda, in a remote district of Odisha, Mayurbhanj, to attend college. She went to a college in Bhubaneswar, which lies around 270 kilometres away from her home. Electricity was not present in her village at that time, and she received a monthly allowance of only 10 rupees from her parents.
Murmu began her career as a government clerk, before becoming a schoolteacher. Later, she became a councillor in Rairangpur, where she lived with her husband. Her career showed an upward graph, as she also became MLA for two terms and a minister. She became the Governor of Jharkhand in 2015.
After her term as the Governor of Jharkhand came to an end in 2021, she went back to her five-room house in Rairangpur, which was bought by her husband in the 1990s. In fact, she was the first woman Governor of Jharkhand and the first female tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed Governor of an Indian state.
Tragedy stuck soon in her life. She lost both of her sons in their youth to accidents, whereas her husband passed away in 2014, which left her daughter as the only surviving immediate family. Murmu later turned her former home into the SLS Memorial School, in the memory of her husband and sons.
"Madam wants to do something for the people here so they can rise. This school, fully residential, is up to Class 10," the school administrator told NDTV.
The wishes from the Santhal community in Mayurbhanj are many and most hope that Droupadi Murmu will be the first one to listen to them.