Having been born at Jalgaon in Maharashta, Mrs Pratibha Patil’s rise to the Presidency of the country is unbelievably meteoric, indeed. After having completed her post-graduation, she went in for the study of law and started working as a lawyer like her father. She took keen interest in extra curricular activities in her college days and was the Champion in table tennis.
She also won the beauty contest and was declared the College Queen. Mrs. Patil fought and won the election to the State Assembly in 1962 and served Maharashtra in various capacities, as a minister, as the leader of the opposition and also as the President of the State Congress Party.
What strike most are her simple life style, sweet nature and unassuming nature. She is always dressed in traditional Indian style and is God-fearing to the core. Mrs. Patil has also served as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha for two years.
She has been closely associated with social work, education and co-operative movement. She has big dreams for the country and is eager to see every Indian to be the beneficiary of the development process. Her priority is to fight against poverty, ignorance and disease, mal-nutrition and infant mortality. Her quote from Sant Tukaram is an eye- opener for all of us:
One who befriends the poor and the oppressed, recognise him to be a saint, for God is with him.
I am sure our country would progress by leaps and bounds and attain new heights under the able leadership of our first woman President, Madam Pratibha Patil. May her dreams for the betterment and progress of the common masses come true during her tenure!