“Tribal people fear going to a police station or court… When they see a tribal person at the top post, they will have some faith. Glass ceilings will be broken,” says Itishree Murmu, daughter of NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu.
These sentiments of satisfaction and hope echo throughout the streets and villages of Rairangpur municipality in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, the home of the 64-year-old Murmu, who, in all chance, will grow to be India’s first tribal lady President.
On Wednesday, Murmu, who’s from Odisha’s Santhal group, left Rairangpur for Bhubaneswar; from there, she’s going to take a flight to New Delhi.
Before that, she swept the ground of a close-by temple on the first light, a every day ritual she has been following since returning in August 2021 after retiring as Jharkhand Governor.
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Residents stated scores of individuals lined up for a gathering along with her at her home earlier than she made the 285-km automotive journey to the state capital. The temple the place she provided prayers was cordoned off by CRPF commandos.
“The security personnel told her that she should curb her public interactions as she was a Presidential candidate. But she replied that these were her people and she owed her rise to them,” says Murmu’s sister-in-law, Sakramani Tudu, who lives along with her.
In the municipality’s Uparbeda Panchayat, the place Murmu was born, residents had been elated. At a hutment, the Pradhan, Jamuna Hembrem, remembers Murmu’s stint as an MLA and minister, when she labored to construct ‘pucca’ roads and a bridge to assist individuals commute. Murmu was a minister within the BJD-BJP coalition authorities in Odisha from 2000 to 2004.
Uparbeda Panchayat has seven income villages with a inhabitants of 15,000. Residents say the inhabitants is generally made up of Adivasi and OBC communities.
“Now, as a woman I ask my would-be President to help give the village a permanent doctor in the Primary Health Centre, jobs for the youth, a hostel for girls and a railway halt which would help the locals of the area… We are proud to have her and we want more,” says Hembrem.
In Murmu’s two-storey home, outfitted with primary facilities, the visitor room is stuffed with framed images of her: those with the present President, Ram Nath Kovind, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi stand out.
Itishree says her mom broke down when she was knowledgeable of her candidature. “She has come a long way in making her way till here, on her own, breaking all social stigma. When she had gone to study in Bhubaneshwar before the nineties, there were no roads, no Google Maps to help people. She figured everything out on her own… She wants to give back to the people of India and to the tribal community.”
She added: “But she missed her two sons and her husband, who have passed away.”
Murmu had stated Tuesday evening: “I am surprised as well as delighted. As a tribal woman from remote Mayurbhanj district, I had not thought about becoming the candidate for the top post.”
“I was not expecting this opportunity. I have not been attending any political programmes for more than six years after becoming the governor of neighbouring Jharkhand. I hope all will support me,” she instructed reporters on the residence.
With the BJD backing her, Murmu’s path to the Presidency seems comparatively simple. She now has round 52 per cent votes (round 5,67,000 votes) out of a complete of 10,86,431 votes of all electors. The nominations could be filed until June 29 and the results of the election might be out on July 21.
Family members stated Murmu labored as a trainer on the close by Aurobindo School run by Aurobindo Integral Education and Research Centre earlier than changing into a politician. Staffer Dilip Kumar Giri recounts: “I used to look after the management back then. Murmu taught students Hindi, Odiya, Maths and Geography etc, for free. We could see she wanted to always help others. There was so much compassion in her.”
Students Anil Lohra and Ashish Giri recall seeing Draupadi Murmu’s poster someplace. Lohra says: “I have heard that she is going to become a big leader.” with pti inputs