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Droupadi Murmu on losing her husband, two sons, mother and brother in just six years

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 25, Jul 2022, 16:39 pm IST | UPDATED: 25, Jul 2022, 16:41 pm IST

Droupadi Murmu on losing her husband, two sons, mother and brother in just six years New Delhi: Droupadi Murmu on Monday (July 25, 2022) took over as India's 15th president and became the country's first tribal head of state and the second woman in the post. Murmu, India's youngest president at 64 and the first to be born after Independence, was sworn in India CJI.

My election is proof of the fact that in India, the poor can dream and also fulfill those dreams," Murmu, who succeeded Ram Nath Kovind, said after taking the oath of office.

Marking her journey from Odisha's Mayurbhanj district, one of the most underdeveloped in India, to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, she said, "It is the power of India's democracy that a girl born in a poor tribal home could reach the topmost constitutional post.

Recalling how she grew up in a small tribal village where even getting primary education was like a dream, Murmu said that the country's deprived, poor, Dalits and tribals can see their reflection in her.

In an interview in 2020, Droupadi Murmu narrated her ordeal after the death of her 25-year-old son. The former Jharkhand governor had also expressed that she was depressed for about two months and that she had stopped meeting people.

"I was completely shattered and broken following the death of my son. I was depressed for about two months. I stopped meeting people and remained confined at home. Later I joined Ishwariya Prajapati Brahmakumari, and underwent yoga and meditation," she said.

Murmu also lost her other son in a road accident in 2013 and subsequently, her brother and mother passed away.

I have encountered a tsunami in my life and seen three deaths of my family members in a span of six months," Murmu said and added that her husband Shyam Charan also fell ill and died in 2014.

"There was a time when I thought I might die anytime," she had expressed in the interview.

Murmu is believed to be deeply spiritual and a keen practitioner of the meditation techniques of the Brahma Kumaris, a movement she embraced after she lost her husband, two sons, mother, and brother in just six years between 2009-2015.

Her daughter Itishree works in a bank in Odisha.

From 'Durpadi' to 'Dorpdi', Droupadi Murmu has said that her name has been changed several times. She also said that her current name Droupadi, based on a character from the epic 'Mahabharata', was given by her school teacher.

In an interview with an Odia magazine recently, she revealed that her Santhali name 'Puti' was changed to Droupadi by a teacher in school.

"Droupadi was not my original name. It was given by my teacher who hailed from another district, not from my native Mayurbhanj," Murmu told the magazine.

"The teacher did not like my previous name and changed it for good," she said when the magazine asked why she is called Droupadi, a name similar to the 'Mahabharata' character.

Droupadi, who had the surname of Tudu in schools and colleges, started using the title Murmu after she married Shyam Charan Tudu, a bank officer.

Droupadi Murmu's first steps in politics were taken in Rairangpur when she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1997. She was first elected as the councilor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat and then went on to become the chairperson of the same panchayat in 2000. Later, she also served as the national vice president of the BJP Scheduled Tribe Morcha.

first becoming the minister of state with independent charge for commerce and transportation from March 2000 to August 2022 and then minister for fisheries and animal resources development from August 2002 to May 2004. 

A legislator from the Rairangpur assembly constituency in the years 2000 and 2004, Droupadi Murmu was conferred Nilkhantha Award for the best MLA by the Odisha assembly in 2007.

In 2015, she became the first woman governor of Jharkhand and also the first woman tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed as the governor of a state.

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