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No end to celebrations in Odisha with Droupadi Murmu becoming 15th President of India

Family members of Droupadi Murmu celebrate at her ancestral village in Mayurbhanj district.

Family members of Droupadi Murmu celebrate at her ancestral village in Mayurbhanj district. | Photo Credit: PTI

Celebrations don’t seem to stop in Odisha, especially in Mayurbhanj district, with Droupadi Murmu, daughter of its soil, administered as the 15th President of India on Monday.

Giant television screens were put up at Rairangpur, the new President’s home town, and students were invited to watch Ms. Murmu being sworn in as the new head of the Indian State. People across the State stayed glued to the television from early in the morning while dancers hit the streets to celebrate the occasion.

Odisha celebrates Droupadi Murmu becoming 15th President of India
Dancers hit the street to celebrate the occasion | Video Credit: The Hindu

“This is a defining moment in India’s history when a tribal woman from remote parts went on to become the State head. This is the time to celebrate and preserve the moment for the future,” said Kabita Soren, a resident of Rairangpur.

Village after village in the tribal heartland of Odisha have been celebrating Ms. Murmu’s elevation to the top post ever since her nomination on June 21. Community feasts were hosted and dance performances organised in Uparbeda, the native village of Ms. Murmu, Pahadpur, her husband’s village, and Dumuria in Jamda block of Mayurbhanj, the native village of President’s maternal uncle on Monday.

Tribespeople paid obeisance to their deities at their respective traditional places of worship for the blessing bestowed on their own daughter. At some tribal villages, people distributed handia, a local beverage, to celebrate the occasion.

Members of her family, village, the local legislators, Members of Parliament, who were present in person at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, called back home describing their experience of witnessing the historic moment in person. Family members had proceeded to New Delhi carrying along arisa pitha, a traditional sweet pancake, and guda pitha, made from jaggery.

People, especially Santal community members, also hailed Ms. Murmu’s choice of wearing the traditional ‘Jhal’ saree on the biggest occasion. Jhal sarees are hand-woven by incorporating motifs of birds, fishes, flowers, leaves and animals. It signifies the community’s close association with nature.

Continuous applause

In her first address as President, when Ms. Murmu narrated her journey from a small Odisha tribal village where getting elementary education was a dream, students and people cheered the achievement with continuous applause. People also praised her struggle when she said that despite many obstacles, her determination remained strong and she became the first daughter of the village to go to college.

“To mark the historic occasion, we facilitated planting of 300 saplings on campus of Uparbeda Government School, where our new President had studied her primary classes. Students who planted trees have been advised to regularly monitor their growth ad ensure their survival,” said Nalinikant Behera, Divisional Forest Officer of Rairangpur.

“The country has created a new history by making Droupadi Murmu, a tribal woman, as the President. She has taken oath to protect democracy, Constitution and law and serve the nation. India, the world’s largest republic, has set an example which even America has not been able to do. It is a time of pride and honor for the country”Salkhan MurmuEx-MP of Mayurbhanj

“The country has created a new history by making Droupadi Murmu, a tribal woman, as the President. She has taken oath to protect democracy, Constitution and law and serve the nation. India, the world’s largest republic, has set an example which even America has not been able to do. It is a time of pride and honor for the country,” said Salkhan Murmu, former two-time MP of Mayurbhanj, whose family hails from the same village as that of the new President of India.


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Printable version | Sep 30, 2022 7:40:58 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/celebration-in-odisha-with-droupadi-murmu-becoming-15th-president-of-india/article65680922.ece