Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, first President of independent India, was born on December 3, 1884 in Ziradevi village in Bihar’s Siwan district.
He was the youngest son of Mahadev Sahay and Kamleshwari Devi. As per their custom, he was put under a Maulavi to learn Persian at the age of 5. Later on, he also learnt Hindi and arithmetic. He got married to Rajvanshi Devi at the age of 12. After marriage, he gave the entrance examination for Calcutta University and got scholarship there. He was a brilliant student and earned Masters Degree in Law.
In 1905, Dr Rajendra Prasad plunged a headlong into the Swadeshi Movement and later on joined the Dawn Society run by Satish Chandra Mukherjee and Sister Nivedita.
A new awareness was dawning into him under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi. Highly impressed by Gandhi Ji’s dedication, courage and conviction, he joined him in the freedom struggle. He was actively involved in the Non Cooperation Movement, Salt Stayagraha and Champaran Agrarian Agitation.
In 1934, while Prasad was in jail, a devastating earthquake struck Bihar. Prasad was soon released after that and he completely dedicated himself to raise funds for the victims of earthquake. He was successful in doing so and further to it in 1935 during the Quetta earthquake he had set up relief committees.
In 1934, he was elected as the President of Indian National Congress and in 1950 as President of independent India. As a President, he served the country for twelve years and was retired in 1962.
In the subsequent year he was honored with the Bharat Ratna Award, the nation’s highest civilian award. He lived for almost a year after that and then left for his heavenly abode on February 28, 1963.