Rashmi Rekha Das

They had never thought of visiting Rashtrapati Bhawan in their lifetime and let alone having lunch inside the temple of Indian constitution, which was beyond their wildest dreams.

Yes indeed it was like a dream come true for 60 residents of president Draupadi Murmu’s native Uperbeda village in Mayurbhanj district as they got the opportunity to savour a grand lunch party with the First Citizen at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Dressed in traditional tribal attires, all of them had the pleasure of attending oath-taking ceremony of Murmu at Central Hall in Delhi.  

That’s not all.  As Mumru is a vegetarian, her guests were served vegetarian dishes which include vegetable soup, palak paneer, gobi gajar beans, tadka, malai kofta, jira palau, nan, green salad, bundi raita, kesar rasmalei and fruits. 

After lunch, the Uperbeda residents were given a tour of entire Rashtrapati Bhawan. At the end they were served one packet of sweets each. 

However, they resented that they could not take selfie with the President as mobile phones were not allowed inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Sujata Murmu, former Zilla Parishad Chairman, said, “Earlier we had seen Rashtrapati Bhawan from outside. This time we got the opportunity to enter into it and came to know about many unknown things about it. It was whole together new experience for me. I was able to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanks to Murmu.” 

Bikash Mahanta, a resident of Rairangpur, said, “A group of 61 people from Mayurbhanj had gone to national capital. President’s friends, relatives and Bharatiya Janata Party members were present among 61 people. It’s a lifetime experience because we had never thought of participating any President’s oath taking ceremony.”

Another resident of Rairangpur Sunil Mahanta said, “A day before President was administered oath by Supreme Court, former President Ram Nath Kovind had thrown a dinner party. Murmu Didi took us to the party where we got opportunity to dine with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was a great moment to be cherished forever.”

Bhubaneswar-based Mumu’s friend Dangi Murmu and college senior Gayamani Besra have just returned from Delhi after attending Murmu’s swearing in ceremony. 

Gayamani said, “I share a close bonding with President Madam because we are from Rairangpur and hostel mates. When she became Jharkhand Governor, we had gone to Ranchi and spent five-six days with her. 

When she got nominated as President candidate, she informed us. She had invited us to attend swearing in ceremony.”

Dangi said, “Had she not become the President, we would not have the honour to visit Rashtrapati Bhawan. We are proud of Murmu. We are fortunate enough to spend quality moment there.”

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