Pranab Mukherjee: The Man Who Changed the Face of Indian Presidency Passes Away

Today India lost its precious gem and former President Pranab Mukherjee after battling a chronic illness for a long time at the age of 84. The country will always idolize his efforts in building this nation. As leaders and the people of India mourn the political stalwart, let’s take a look at his achievements and the initiatives the Congress veteran will always be remembered for. Take a look!

1. He Democratized Presidency:

On the first term anniversary of Pranab Mukherjee, the Rashtrapati Bhavan made a series of announcements in order to democratize the foundation of the presidency. The first step was to stop using ‘His Excellency’ to refer to the President. Furthermore, the protocols and security restriction of guests invited to Rashtrapati Bhavan were relaxed to the utmost extent. The former President had also declared that he would participate in as many functions as possible in the Rashtrapati Bhavan itself to protect the general public from any inconvenience.

2. Pranab Mukherjee Public Library:

For the welfare of the residents living in the President’s Estate, Pranab Mukherjee turned an old and unkempt building in Schedule ‘B’ into the Pranab Mukherjee Public Library. The restoration work for the same was finished within just five months and the inauguration was done on July 25, 2013.

3. Commissioning of Rooftop Solar Panels:

Pranab Mukherjee took various initiatives to make the President’s Estate more energy-efficient. During his fifth year of presidency, he partnered with Rural Electrification Corporation Limited and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited to install rooftop solar panels of approximately 508 KW in the President’s Estate. After the installation, he worked to improve the connectivity of the Estate to various metro stations as well.

4. Public Access to Rashtrapati Bhavan:

During his full tenure as the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee worked around the clock to project Rashtrapati Bhavan as a tourist destination. Therefore, on July 25, 2016, three tourist circuits were opened for the public – Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mughal Gardens, and Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum. During the Udyanotsav 2017, a whopping 6.95 lakh people visited the Mughal Gardens between February 5 and March 12.

5. The Smartgram Initiative:

Pranab Mukherjee always wanted to develop villages into modern and urbane townships. In an effort to do so, he launched the Smartgram Initiative on July 2, 2016. With the incredible support of the centre, the Haryana government, several NGOs, and individuals, five districts of Gurugram and Mewat of Haryana were chosen to implement this program on the basis of a convergence model. Several programs promoting health and hygiene, clean energy, skill development, agriculture development, and education were executed in the chosen districts.

6. Pranab Mukherjee as a Teacher:

Pranab Mukherjee during his tenure as the President of India broke many records. One such unique record was becoming the first head of State to teach school children. Pranab Mukherjee was a teacher about 55 years ago. And during the last two years of his presidency, he did what he loved the most – teach school children. The former President had a Master’s degree in history, law, and political science. He taught the students of class 11 and 12 from the Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in the premises of Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

Pranab Mukherjee was not only a vital cog in the Congress wheel but also an important pillar of strength in Indian politics. He had an eventful career that spanned nearly a decade. His other biggest achievements for the country are sealing the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal, the 123 agreement, and serving as the External Affairs Minister and the Finance Minister of India. The eminent political leader will always be remembered for his contributions to Indian polity, cultural fields, education, and social fields.

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