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Presidential Election 2022: History scripted as tribal woman become the President of India

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jul 22, 2022 12:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

On July 21, Draupadi Murmu was elected India's 15th President, making her the country's first tribal President. Murmu, who defeated rival Yashwant Sinha by a wide margin, has a long list of firsts to her name. Murmu will not only be the first tribal president of India, but she will also be the youngest and India's first president born after independence, at the age of 64.

She was also the first woman to be appointed as the governor of Jharkhand in 2015. Murmu was also the first tribal woman from her home state of Odisha to be appointed governor.

Murmu is an experienced tribal leader of the Santal ethnic group. The Santals are the most populous tribe in Jharkhand, but they are also found in Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and West Bengal.

Political career of Murmu

Murmu began her political career as a councillor and vice-chairperson of the Rairangpur civic body in 1997, after being born on June 20, 1958, in Baidaposi village of Mayurbhanj district. She was appointed vice-president of the Odisha BJP's ST morcha the same year.

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

Murmu rose through the political ranks despite poverty and personal tragedies in one of the country's most remote and underdeveloped districts. But her desire to help others won out, and she graduated with a BA from Ramadevi Women's College in Bhubaneshwar.

Her saffron party positions reflect her extensive political and administrative experience.

She served as a national executive member of the BJP's ST morcha from 2002 to 2009. She was elected Rairangpur MLA again in 2004, and then served as state president of the BJP's ST morcha from 2006 to 2009.

Awarded as best MLA of the year

The legislative assembly honoured her with the 'Nilakantha Award for Best MLA' in 2007 in recognition of her outstanding contribution.

She was also a government employee from 1979 to 1983, working as a junior assistant in the Odisha government's irrigation and power department. She has also taught without pay at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre in Rairangpur as a grassroots worker.

Also Read: Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu’s hometown gets electricity for first time

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