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Droupadi Murmu Takes Oath as Country's 15th President; First Tribal at the Helm

PTI |
India’s “deprived, poor, dalits and tribals can see their reflection in me”, the 64 year old said, adding that this was “a matter of big satisfaction for her.”
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice NV Ramana administers the oath of office to President Droupadi Murmu, as former President Ram Nath Kovind looks on, at the Central Hall of the Parliament,

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice NV Ramana administers the oath of office to President Droupadi Murmu, as former President Ram Nath Kovind looks on, at the Central Hall of the Parliament. Image Courtesy: ANI

New Delhi: Droupadi Murmu was on Monday sworn in as India's 15th President at an impressive ceremony in the packed and historic Central Hall of Parliament.

Hailing from the Santhal community, Murmu is the first tribal leader to assume the office of the President.

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana administered the oath of office to Murmu in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union ministers, governors, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and a host of dignitaries.

Former President Pratibha Patil, and Chief Ministers Naveen Patnaik, Eknath Shinde, Jairam Thakur, Yogi Adityanath and N Biren Singh were among the dignitaries present.

Dressed in a white saree with green and red border, Murmu took the oath of office in the name of God in Hindi to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law".

Murmu was given a 21-gun salute after which she signed the oath register amid a thunderous applause and thumping of desks.

The oath-taking ceremony was marked by pomp and grandeur, and began with the arrival of outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind and Murmu in a procession from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the Parliament Building.

In her acceptance speech, President Murmu said her election to the country's top constitutional position was not her personal achievement but that of India's every poor person as it shows that he can not only dream but also fulfil those aspirations. 

The 64-year-old Murmu said the country's deprived, poor, dalits and tribals can see their reflection in her which, she added, is a matter of big satisfaction for her. 

She also paid tributes to India's freedom fighters, and said the country will have to move quickly on the twin tracks of "sabka prayas" (everyone's effort) and "sabka kartavya (everyone's duty) to fulfil their expectations. 

Noting that she was the first President to be born after Independence, Murmu said it was her good fortune that she has assumed the position at a time when the country is celebrating " Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" to mark the 75th anniversary of its freedom. 

India's first tribal President recalled that she grew up in a small tribal village where even getting primary education was like a dream and she went on to become the first person in the village to enrol for college education. 

It is a tribute to Indian democracy's strength, Murmu said she has now reached the post of President and was proud to be leading such a progressive country.

She wanted to reassure Indians, especially the youth and women, that their interests will be supreme for her as President, she said. 

India is now writing a new chapter of development in every field, she said, lauding its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the administration of over 200 crore vaccine doses to its citizens. 

She also praised the government's "vocal for local" and "digital India" initiative.

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