NEW DELHI: Droupadi Murmu was sworn-in as 15th President of India in the Central Hall of the Parliament by Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana on Monday.
In her first address to both Houses of the Parliament, President Murmu said that her election to the President’s post proves that the poor in India can dream and make them come true.
Murmu is the first tribal and second woman President of India.
“It is the strength of democracy that a daughter born in a poor and tribal family could reach the highest constitutional post in the country. Being President is not my personal achievement but the achievement of every poor in this country,” she said in a televised address.
Hailing the “inherent strengths” of Indian democracy, President Murmu, who started her public life as a ward councillor in Odisha’s Rairangpur, said: “It is a matter of immense satisfaction for me that the poor and deprived see a reflection of themselves in me,” she added.
Recounting her struggle, President Murmu said, “Getting even the primary education was a dream for me in the place where I was born in. I faced a lot of difficulties but never wavered. I was the first female from my village to go to a college.”
She thanked MPs and MLAs for electing her the President. “Your vote represents the hopes of crores of citizens of this country.”
“I humbly greet all the fellow citizens from this sacred Parliament, a symbol of the hopes, aspirations and rights of all the citizens of India. Your affection, trust and support will be my greatest strength in discharging my functions and responsibilities,” the President added.
President Murmu, who is the first occupant of the post who was born in after Independence, spoke about the rich tribal culture and highlighted that tribal communities have been living in harmony with nature for thousands of years.
“I have realised the significance of forest and water resources in my life. We have taken important resources from nature and we also serve nature with equal zeal,” she said.
She also extended greetings on the occasion of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, calling it a day of “valour” as well as “restraint”.
Former President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla joined the President on the dais.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pratibha Devi Patil, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, many chief ministers and other dignitaries attended the swearing-in ceremony.