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V V Giri remains voice of labour movement, championing the cause of workers

August 10, 2023 10:58 AM IST

India | DD India | government of India

Varahagiri Venkata Giri, often known as V.V. Giri, served as the fourth President of India, and was in the position from August 24, 1969, to August 24, 1974. He was born on August 10, 1894, in Berhampur, Odisha, Giri was a prominent figure in the Indian political landscape, who gave his whole life to the labor movement and also fought with his strong advocacy for worker’s rights.

After completing his initial education in India, Giri moved to Ireland to study law and social science at the University College Dublin. While he was in Ireland he participated in the Irish freedom movement, cementing his interest in issues related to labor and social justice.

Upon his return to India, Giri became actively involved in the Indian freedom struggle. He also emerged as a strong voice for the labor movement, championing the cause of workers and trade unions across the country.

After independence, Giri served in several significant political positions, including as the Minister of Labour, a role where he could directly impact the cause he was so passionate about. His efforts led to the establishment of the Central Advisory Council and the Indian Labour Conference.

Giri served as the Vice President of India from 1967 to 1969 before becoming the President of India. Notably, he was the only person to have been elected as an independent candidate to the presidency, underscoring his broad acceptability and popularity across political lines.

Throughout his career, Giri was deeply committed to the principles of social justice and equality. His work in the sphere of labor rights and his tenure as President was marked by this unwavering commitment. After the end of his full term, Giri was honored by the Government of India with the Bharat Ratna in 1975.

Varahagiri Venkata Giri passed away on June 24, 1980. His contributions to the Indian labor movement and to Indian politics continue to inspire.

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