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'A Tribal Boy Got a Big Opportunity’: GC Murmu's Mother Elated over His Appointment as J&K’s L-G

For the people of Mayurbhanj, the district with the second largest tribal population (56.6%) in Odisha, Girish Chandra Murmu’s appointment as Jammu and Kashmir’s L-G has been a matter of joy and pride.

Anand ST Das | News18

Updated:November 1, 2019, 11:44 PM IST
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'A Tribal Boy Got a Big Opportunity’: GC Murmu's Mother Elated over His Appointment as J&K’s L-G
GC Murmu taking oath as the Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (Credits: ANI)

Bhubaneswar: Sitting on the verandah of her modest house in Betnoti, a small town in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, the octogenarian woman is poring over reports carried by Odia newspapers. She is beaming with smiles on seeing pictures of her son in the newspapers.

She is Parbati Murmu, the proud mother of Girish Chandra Murmu, who took oath as the first Lieutenant-Governor of the newly formed Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.

“A tribal boy got such a major opportunity to serve the people. Shall I not be happy?” asks Parbati. “I feel very happy, so happy that I cannot even talk about it! What a good luck that child of mine was born with! I am thinking of those past days now. My happiness knows no bounds today,” she says.

For the people of Mayurbhanj, the district with the second largest tribal population (56.6 per cent) in Odisha, Girish Chandra Murmu’s appointment as Jammu and Kashmir’s L-G has been a matter of joy and pride. Most of them huddled before television sets to watch live telecast of the local boy’s swearing-in ceremony.

“I am sure he will distinguish himself more by serving the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the country. He has the ability to know good from bad and always does the right thing,” says Parbati, who lost her husband in 2017.

The 59-year-old Girish Chandra Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, is the second tribal person in Odisha to rise to a gubernatorial position. Before him, Draupadi Murmu, also from Mayurbhanj and the Santhal primitive tribe, was appointed as the Governor of Jharkhand in May 2015.

Born in the nondescript village of Kunchishol, Girish is the eldest among his parents’ six sons and two daughters. His late father, Bhagabat Murmu, worked as a station manager with the Indian Railways, while his mother retired as a postmaster.

One of Girish’s brothers is a senior official with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while another works at a senior position with the Indian Railways. The youngest sibling works with the Odisha government’s rural development department at Baripada. His two other brothers manage a farmhouse at their native village. The two sisters are married and work as schoolteachers.

The people of Betnoti remember Girish for his love of the town and his compassion for the poor. Every winter, he visits Betnoti and his native village and distributes blankets among the poor. Girish and his wife, Dr Smita Shukla, have a daughter and a son – Ruchika and Rohan.

Girish, who served as the principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, held the post of expenditure secretary in the finance ministry before being appointed as J&K’s first Lieutenant-Governor.

(With inputs from Rabindra Kumar Nayak)

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