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Pranab Mukherjee Foundation launched, to focus on rural development

By Deepika
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    The Pranab Mukherjee Foundation was formally launched here on Thursday, in the presence of former President Pranab Mukherjee and a host of dignitaries.

    Pranab Mukherjee

    The foundation, which has been set up in partnership with various companies including Tata Trust, hopes to carry forward the work that was set up under Mukherjee's initiative as president, such as the "SmartGram" project.

    The foundation also aims to work in the field of research, education, and will primarily focus on rural development.

    Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee said, "Preservation of papers of the public life of those who devoted decades in public life and their activities have both individual and historic value to understand the time and situation in which they served people," he said.

    "Some memorials have been raised but systematic analysis of the papers of Prime Ministers and Presidents has not been done systematically here as in other countries, " the former President said.

    Omita Paul, Mukherjee's former secretary, will work as its director. Two of Mukherjee's children are politicians. His son Abhijit is a Lok Sabha member, while daughter Sharmishtha heads the women's wing of the Delhi unit of the Congress. They won't be a part of the foundation.

    The former first citizen has been passionate about improving the standard of education and research in the country.

    Some of the country's top politicians, including Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, party president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former vice president Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Ratan Tata, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and many other leaders were present at the event.

    Mukherjee started his career as a teacher in a college before joining politics. After heading various ministries, he was elected as the President in 2012.

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