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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 30.11.2014

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjeecalled upon students to devote their energies to three Es – education, empowerment and emancipation of women. He was speaking on the occasion of inauguration of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Rama Devi Women’s Autonomous College today (November 30, 2014) at Bhubaneswar.

Paying tribute to the unique contribution and leadership of Smt. Rama Devi, the President said she was one of the most committed workers in India’s national movement and a devoted disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. At the launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1931, mass public meetings were organised by Smt. Rama Devi, Gopabandhu Choudhury and Acharya Harihar Das in Odisha. When the Dandi March took place on the West Coast of India, Inchudi on the Balasore Coast and Kujanga in Cuttack were selected by the Utkal Provincial Congress Committee to break the Salt Law. This was led by Smt. Rama Devi and other leaders in Odisha. She was an organiser, speaker, campaigner and inspirer of ordinary men and women. She worked hard to root out untouchability and communalism. She organised a pada yatra to support Vinobha Bhave’s Bhoodan Movement and gave utmost emphasis to education, emancipation and empowerment of women.

The President said he has been an admirer of the rich cultural heritage of Odisha and its long history of communal harmony. Odisha is the land where the Kalinga War was fought in the 3rd century BC. It was here that Emperor Ashoka had a change of heart - that made him eschew violence and embrace dhamma and ahimsa. He recalled the enormous contributions made by illustrious sons of its soil like Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das and Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash. He said its visionary leaders like Shri Biju Patnaik and Utkal Keshari Dr. Harekrishna Mahatab made Odisha an industrialized and prosperous State.

The President said the people of Odisha have proven themselves to be worthy inheritors of a grand legacy.They have transformed Odisha into one of the most progressive states of India. Bhubaneshwar is ranked among the best cities of India and is today a commercial hub of eastern India.

The President said every student has the potential to contribute, in their own individual capacities, to nation building. Students must understand that considerable resource, effort and sacrifice has gone into their education. Society has invested in them and it is legitimate to expect that they would pay a dividend back to society for this investment. He asked them to make a special effort - in any way that they can - for the education of the girl child, which would have a multiplier effect on the success ofdevelopmental programmes of the Government.

This release issued 2140 hrs.