Pradeep Pattanayak

During her maiden visit to Odisha after assuming the office of the President of India, Droupadi Murmu attended a civic reception hosted in her honour at Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on Thursday evening.

On this occasion, while addressing the gathering, the first citizen of India said she has sought Lord Jagannath’s blessings for the well-being of the people of Odisha, of India as well as of the entire world.

“Shree Jagannath is the lord of not only Odia hearts but He is the lord of the universe. I have offered prayers to Lord Jagannath seeking His blessings for the well-being of the people of Odisha, of India as well as of the entire world. I hope the lord will answer my prayers and will be the cause of peace and prosperity in the world,” she said. 

“When it comes to generosity, none is anywhere near Shree Jagannath. But it is our responsibility to protect and preserve His abode, the Srimandir. There had been a demand for the opening of a circle office of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in Puri. I was aware of it. I had realized the necessity of a circle office of the ASI. In this regard, I had a discussion with the Union Minister for Culture Sri G Kishen Reddy on the 5th of the current month,” she added. 

“In the meantime, a circle office has been opened in Puri for which I am extending my gratitude and heartfelt thanks to honourable Union Minister for Culture, Sri Reddy,” she maintained. 

The ceremony was also attended by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court S Muralidhar, noted Odia writer Pratibha Ray and many other dignitaries. 

In his speech, Chief Minister Patnaik said, “As a first Odia and country’s first tribal woman, you have occupied the Presidential post and taken Odisha’s glory to a new height. For this, the entire Odish is proud of you.”

Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal in his speech compared her to a burning earthen lamp.  “She is like an earthen lamp which supplies a juice of light to others while keeping herself in dark,” he said.