Smt. Pratibha Patil
Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil is the 12th and current President of the Republic of India and first woman to hold the office.
She started her professional career as a practicing lawyer at the Jalgaon District Court in Maharashtra and worked on various social activities, especially, for the uplift of poor women.
At the young age of 27 years, she successfully contested her first election to the Maharashtra State Legislature. Subsequently she was continuously elected four times as MLA until 1985. Thereafter, she served as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha and later elected as a Member of Parliament to the 10th Lok Sabha in the 1991 General Elections. She enjoys the unique distinction of not having lost a single election that she contested to date.
When in Maharashtra Legislature, she held positions as Deputy Minister and Cabinet Minister and handled portfolios like Public Health, Prohibition, Tourism, Housing and Parliamentary Affairs, Social Welfare, Rehabilitation, Cultural Affairs, Education, Urban Development, Housing, and Civil Supplies. While in the Opposition, she also served as the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra for a brief period.
In Parliament, she was the Deputy Chairperson, Rajya Sabha and also served as the Chairperson, Rajya Sabha for a brief period.She has been associated - as founder, co-founder, chairperson - with various philanthropic activities involving running of a chain of schools and colleges, hostels for working women, an engineering college, a cooperative sugar factory and a cooperative bank, setting up an Industrial Training School for the visually challenged and running a school for poor children of Vimukta Jatis and Nomadic tribes.