Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India. Rajendra Prasad was a great freedom-fighter, and the architect of the Indian Constitution, having served as President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution of the Republic from 1948 to 1950. He had also served as a Cabinet Minister briefly in the first Government of Independent India. He was a crucial leader of the Indian Independence Movement. Prasad was born in Jiradei, in the Siwan district of Bihar. His father, Mahadev Sahay, was a Persian and Sanskrit language scholar; his mother, Kamleshwari Devi, was a devout lady who would tell stories from the Ramayana to her son. At the age of 5, the young Rajendra Prasad was sent to a Maulavi for learning Persian. After that he was sent to Chapra Zilla School for further primary studies.
After India became independent he was elected the President of India. As President, he used his moderating influence so silently and unobtrusively that he neither reigned nor ruled. His sister Bhagwati Devi died on the night of 25 January 1960. She doted on her dearly-loved younger brother. It must have taken Rajendra Prasad all his will power to have taken the Republic Day salute as usual, on the following day. It was only on return from the parade that he set about the task of cremation. In 1962, after 12 years as President, he announced his decision to retire. He was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian award. Within months of his retirement, early in September 1962, his wife Rajvanshi Devi passed away. In a letter written a month before his death to one devoted to him, he said, "I have a feeling that the end is near, end of the energy to do, end of my very existence". He died on 28 February 1963 with 'Ram Ram Ram' on his lips. Because of the enormous public adulation he enjoyed, he was referred to as Desh Ratna or the Jewel of the country. His legacy is being ably carried forward by his great grandson Ashoka Jahnavi-Prasad, a psychiatrist and a scientist of international repute who introduced sodium valproate as a safer alternative to lithium salts in the treatment of bipolar disorders.