Monday, September 25, 2023

Empowering Lessons from Ms. Draupadi Murmu

On 25th July 2022, Ms. Draupadi Murmu was sworn in as the 15th honourable President of India. She is the second woman President of India after Ms. Pratibha Patil to hold the office. Ms. Draupadi Murmu happens to be the first woman President hailing from a tribal community. The Presidential elections had prominent personalities as nominations. However, Ms. Draupadi Murmu won the elections by a significant margin. She is considered as the ideal successor to the previous incumbent, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind

Ms. Draupadi Murmu’s journey has been filled with obstacles. She had to overcome various challenges to establish herself as a welfare worker and a politician. Today, she is one of the most influential women in the country. In this article, we celebrate the journey and seek inspiration with empowering lessons from our new President – the first citizen of the country, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces!

Who is Ms. Draupadi Murmu?

Ms. Draupadi Murmu hails from a tribal community called the Santhals in Orissa’s Mayurbhanj district. She grew up in difficult times under extreme poverty. It is a remote community with limited resources. So, basic amenities were not accessible to her.

However, she was able to overcome tough situations and complete her education. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts from Ramadevi Women’s College in Bhubaneswar. Following her graduation, Ms. Draupadi Murmu served as a junior assistant in the irrigation and power department for the Orissa government.

She started her career in politics back in 1997 with BJP as a Councillor in Rairangpur. Between 2000 and 2004, she served as an MLA. In 2015, Ms. Draupadi Murmu became the first woman Governor of Jharkhand. She was also the first Oriya woman to be named the Governor of an Indian state and serve for the full term of her office.

Ms. Draupadi Murmu has diverse administrative experience. She has been successful in handling multiple ministries such as transport, fisheries and commerce for the Orissa government. In 2007, she was commemorated with the Best MLA of the Year award by the Orissa Legislative Assembly. 

She has been an inspiration to many people in India. Here are some of the most significant learnings from her journey –

Lessons from the life of Ms. Draupadi Murmu

1) Overcome challenges

Ms. Draupadi Murmu began her journey under extreme circumstances. Belonging to the Adivasi community of Santhal, she had limited access to basic amenities and receiving an education was not possible. Moreover, to grow up in a conservative underprivileged society, she had to face multiple obstacles to receive a formal education.

“From the background that I come from, it was like a dream for me to get elementary education. But despite many obstacles, my determination remained strong, and I became the first daughter of my village to go to college,” said Ms. Draupadi Murmu in her Keynote speech on July 25th.

After completing her education, she began her career by taking the role of a clerk in the Orissa Government. However, she had to quit the role to take care of her family. As she was not able to continue her teaching role, she took a role in politics a few years later. She would soon go on to become an MLA in Orissa. 

Between 2010 and 2014, she had to face the heart-wrenching loss of her family. She lost her husband and both her sons within a span of a few years. It was a very difficult time for her. But she was able to rise above her tough times. She bounced back from her tragic losses when she was appointed as the Governor of Jharkhand in 2015. She became the first woman to become a Governor in India.

2) Dream big

“I belong to tribal society. I have got the opportunity to rise from serving as a ward Councillor to becoming the President of India.” – Ms. Draupadi Murmu. 

(Source: Hindustan Times, July 25th 2022)

Ms. Draupadi Murmu’s appointment as the President of the country is a historical event. As she observes in her keynote speech, getting educated was a tough task in her community. But even after getting educated and starting her journey in politics 25 years ago, she would not have dreamt of becoming the President of the country. Such was her rise from a humble clerk to reaching the highest constitutional position in India.

Over the years, Murmu won deep appreciation during her tenure. She has brought many reforms and has been accessible by keeping her office open to people from various socio-economic backgrounds. In 2006, she became the State President of the BJP Scheduled Tribe Morcha by winning the elections. During this time, she was also serving as the District President of the BJP in Mayurbhanj.

She was elected as the 9th Governor of Jharkhand in 2015. A position she held until 2021. Her great work and continuous commitment towards betterment were recognised by the members of Parliament and legislative assemblies. In 2022, she was nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to run for the Presidency of India.

Murmu is indeed a great example of leadership in adversity!

3) Willingness to serve others 

Murmu is a model of kindness and selfless service. During her initial days of teaching, she refused to take any compensation for her teaching efforts apart from the rickshaw fare. She was doing it for the joy of helping others and improving the state of education in the community.

When she was serving as a Councillor of a local ward in 1997, she was often seen personally supervising the cleaning of drains and garbage collection. Despite the sweltering heat and rough weather conditions, she took the initiative to improve the cleanliness of the community. 

Her desire to work in the trenches provides a great example for aspiring leaders. It is a lesson for them to always be willing to help others!

A young leader inspired by Ms. Draupadi Murmu

Ms. Draupadi Murmu’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary! It only goes to show that no matter how hard the situation is or how many challenges an individual faces, then can succeed. Success becomes inevitable when one showcases desire, commitment and willingness to change and improve. Just like Ms. Murmu, they must remain positive and continue working hard. Her journey inspires leaders and entrepreneurs to work hard and stay true to their dreams! 

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