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Senior journalist Sandeep Sahu from Odisha to pen President Draupadi Murmu’s Biography

Bhubaneswar: Penguin Random House India has commissioned Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist Sandeep Sahu to write the comprehensive biography of President Draupadi Murmu, the first tribal person to be the head of India.

Titled ‘Madam President: A Biography of Draupadi Murmu’, the book is poised to open a window to the life of India’s first woman tribal President and is scheduled to be released in late 2022.

In a press release, the publication house stated, “Murmu’s phenomenal rise from a sleepy village in the predominantly tribal Mayurbhanj district of Odisha to the Rashtrapati Bhavan presents a fascinating study of democratic empowerment in India. She has several firsts to her credit. She was the first woman from her area to become a minister in the Odisha government. She was the first woman legislator to win the coveted Nilakantha Award as the Best Legislator in Odisha Assembly. She was the first woman – and the first tribal – Governor of Jharkhand. And now the first tribal woman to occupy the top constitutional post.”

Droupadi Murmu’s long and eventful political journey is a story of true awe, perseverance, and inspiration. The first authentic and definitive account of the 15th President of India, Madam President will unpack the many trials and tribulations and early years of struggle that made her the well-revered leader she is today. Starting as a councillor in the Rairangpur civic body and culminating at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, this promises to be a compelling read; more so, because this biography is the first authentic and definitive account of her political career. The grace and fortitude with which she has conducted her public life, all through her career, despite being struck by a series of tragedies in her personal life such as the loss of her husband and two sons in quick succession, make her a resilient woman of resolve. Her life’s work, through this book, will reach diverse audiences, far and wide, influencing many to dream their dreams and realise them,” it read.

Sandeep Sahu, the author of the book, said, ‘What made the prospect of doing the book when Penguin India reached out to me was the fact that the book would be on the first tribal woman to become the President of India, which is truly historic. That she belongs to the predominantly tribal Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, where I spent my entire adolescent period, was also another tempting factor to take it on. It has been an absolute pleasure working with my editor Chirag Thakkar and the Penguin India team, who have been very supportive and helpful to get this moving.’

The Commissioning Editor for the book, Chirag Thakkar, said, “Here is a story of the great democratic spirit of India. In many ways, this was, in fact, long overdue. At a time so critical for the protection of India’s indigenous communities, their culture, land rights, society, history and autonomy, President Murmu’s election to the highest office, we hope, will be a monumental steppingstone for many scheduled tribe communities of India. “

Sandeep Sahu has 35 years of experience. Over the year he has worked for many prominent top local, national and international media houses. He has been reporting for the BBC World Service from Odisha for over 27 years now and has also served as the Odisha correspondent for Outlook from May 2018 to December 2021. He is among the very few journalists in the state who write in three different languages: Odia, Hindi and English.

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