Pratibha Patil Biography
Born on 19th December 1934, Pratibha Devisingh Patil is an Indian politician and was the 12th President of India and the first woman to hold this esteemed position. She was sworn in as President on 25 July 2007 and retired in 25 July 2012. As a member of the Indian National Congress, she was nominated for the post of president by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Indian Left.
Pratibha Patil was born in Nadgaon, Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, India. She did her schooling from RR Vidyalaya, Jalgaon and later did a Masters degree in Political Science and Economics from Mooljee Jetha College, Jalgaon, and a Law degree from Government Law College, Mumbai. She then started practicing law at the Jalgaon District Court, while taking interest in social issues like improving the situations and conditions faced by the women of India. She then married Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat and they have a son and a daughter.
Pratibha Patil along with her husband established an educational institution called ‘Vidya Bharti Shikshan Prasarak Mandal’, which operates a chain of schools and colleges in Jalgaon and Mumbai. She founded a trust which runs hostels for working women in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. She also started an Engineering College and an Industrial Training School for the visually challenged in Jalgaon and a school for the poor children of Vimukta Jamatis and Nomedic Tribes.
Pratibha Patil began her career at the age of 27 and ever since 1962 she won every election in which she contested. From 1962 to 1985, she was the member of the Maharashtra Assembly and during this period she was elected as the Minister of many departments like Education, Urban Development and Housing, Tourism, Public Health and Social Welfare, Parliamentary Affairs, Cultural affairs etc. She also got promoted from Deputy Minister to Cabinet rank in the Ministry of various Chief Ministers.
In 1967, Pratibha Patil became the deputy minister for Education for the first time. She was repetitively re-elected to the Assembly either from Jalgaon or Edlabad Constituency. In 1985 she was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a Congress candidate and in 1988 she was appointed as a MPCC Chief, a post which she held for only two years and in 1991 got elected to the Lok Sabha. From 1991 to 1996, she was a Member of Parliament from Amaravati Lok Sabha constituency. On 8th Nov 2004 she was appointed as the 24th Governor of Rajasthan and became the first woman to hold that office till 2007.
In 2007, Pratibha Patil entered the presidential battle and won with a distinct edge over her rival, defeating her opponent by more than three lakh votes. On 25 July 2007, she sworn in and took office becoming the first Female President of India. She held this post till 25 July 2012 and was succeeded by Pranab Mukherjee.