On January 24, 1950, the Constituent Assembly of India elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the first president of the country.
Born on December 3, 1884, in Bihar, Prasad belonged to the Indian National Congress. He was the only President to have held the office twice.
Prasad was proposed to be the first Indian president by Jawaharlal Nehru and was seconded by Vallabhbhai Patel. There were no other nominations and hence the secretary of the assembly, H. V. R. Iengar declared that he be considered to be duly elected to the office of President of India.
He was sworn in on the first Republic Day, 26 January 1950,
Facts about Rajendra Prasad
Prasad was appointed as one of the first members of the Senate and Syndicate of the Patna University in 1917.
He contributed actively in the Indian Nationalist Movement alongside leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Prasad was always ready to help people in trouble. When the 1914 floods ravaged Bihar and Bengal, he became a volunteer distributing food and clothes to the flood victims. In 1935, when an earthquake hit Quetta. he was not allowed to help due to government restrictions. Despite this, he set up relief committees in Sind and Punjab for the homeless victims who flocked there.
In 1917 he was a part of a campaign to help Bihar’s peasants, who were being oppressed by British indigo planters.
He was an active participant of 'Satyagraha Movement' and the 'Quit India Movement' and was therefore imprisoned by the Britishers during India's freedom struggle. While he was imprisoned in Bankipur Jail for three years, he wrote his autobiography, 'Atmakatha'.
Prasad was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals. He was jailed multiple times by the British government due to his participation and support in the Satyagraha Movement and the Quit India Movement.
The Bharat Ratna awardee breathed his last on 28 February, 1963, at the age of 78.
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