Dr. Rajendra Prasad has the unique distinction of being the first President of independent India. He played a very influential role in the freedom struggle of India. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was one of the foremost disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. His contribution as a freedom fighter and as a president was truly remarkable. Born on December 3, 1884 in the Ziradei village in the Siwan district of Bihar, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a brilliant student throughout his academic career. He was born to Mahadev Sahay and Kamleshwari Devi. His father was a Sanskrit and Persian language scholar. Dr. Prasad was very attached to his elder brother Mahendra Prasad.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s first brush of education came under the guidance of a Maulavi. He learned Persian, Hindi and arithmetic. Right from his childhood, Dr. Prasad was a bright student. He topped in the matriculation examination and later on joined prestigious Presidency College in Calcutta. There also, he continued his excellent academic performance and completed his M.A and Masters in Law. In the meantime, his brother introduced him to the Swadeshi movement that proved to be a life-altering moment for him.
As he delved deeper into the freedom movements, he came into the contact of Mahatma Gandhi. Thereafter, Dr. Rajendra Prasad had just one dream and that was of seeing an independent India. He devoted himself to the services of the nation and considered Gandhi Ji as his political and spiritual guru. Rajendra Prasad was man of courage, dedication, conviction and utmost sincerity. His name symbolised honesty and modesty. He was an active participant in crucial freedom movements like Non Cooperation Movement, Salt Satyagraha and Champaran Agrarian Agitation. Dr. Rajendra Prasad is still remembered for his legendary contribution in raising funds for earthquake victims in 1934.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected congress president several times. Once the British left the country, he was unanimously elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution. In 1950, he was elected as the first President of the Republic of India. Dr. Rajendra Prasad served the country for twelve years. He relinquished the post in 1962. He was also honoured with the nation’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. Dr. Prasad breathed his last on February 28, 1963.