First Woman President of India
Mrs Pratibha Devi Singh Patil is an Indian politician who served as the 12th President of India from 2007 to 2012. She became the first woman to hold the prestigious presidential office of India. She was sworn in as President on 25 July 2007, succeeding Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
She won the election held on 19 July 2007. Her winning was a landmark in Indian politics. Soon she was seen as a symbol of women empowerment in India. However, the office of President has a five-year term and she retired from the role in July 2012.
MrsPatil was born on 19 December 1934 in the Jalgaon district in Maharashtra. She took her initial education at RR Vidyalay in Jalgaon district. Later she was awarded a Master’s degree in Political Science and Economics by Mooljee Jetha College in Jalgaon. She also received a Bachelor of Law degree by Government Law College in Mumbai. She then began to practice law at the Jalgaon District Court. She also took interest in social issues such as improving the conditions faced by Indian women.
In 1962, at the age of 27, she was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Thereafter she won in the Muktainagar constituency on four consecutive occasions between 1967 and 1985. Later she also became a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. In 10th Lok Sabha elections, as a Member of Parliament she represented the Amravati constituency. She never lost an election that she contested.
She had been for some years the President of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee. She held office as Director of the National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies. She was also a Member of the Governing Council of the National Co-operative Union of India.
On 8 November 2004, she was appointed as the 24th Governor of Rajasthan. She was the first woman to hold that office. A period of her retirement from politics followed later in that decade.
Mrs. Patil has always been closely linked to social works, education and supportive movement. As the President of India, she achieved great success, glory and appreciation. She always gave importance and inspiration to fight poverty, unawareness, diseases, undernourishment and infant mortality.