India's President elect Droupadi Murmu attends an event in New Delhi. AFP
Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India's president on Monday, making her the first person from one of the country's marginalised tribal communities to serve as head of state.
The former school teacher and state governor was elected to the largely ceremonial position last week with 64 per cent of the vote by members of India's parliament and state assemblies.
President Murmu thanked all MPs and MLAs for electing her.
"My election to the post of President is proof of the fact that in India, the poor can dream and also fulfil those dreams. Reaching this office is not my personal achievement but that of all the poor people in the country. It is the power of India's democracy that a girl born in a poor tribal home could reach the topmost constitutional post," President Murmu said.
Indiaâ€™s President elect Droupadi Murmu (centre) interacts with folk performers in New Delhi. AFP
President Murmu noted that it is also a coincidence that her political career started when the country was celebrating its 50th year of Independence and today in the 75th year of independence, she got this new responsibility.
Murmu, who is from the Santhal tribe and was born in eastern Odisha state, paid her respects before her inauguration at a memorial dedicated to India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi.
"I started my life journey from a small tribal village," Murmu, 64, said after taking the oath of office in parliament.
"From the background I come from, it was like a dream for me to even get elementary education," she added.
"But despite many obstacles, my resolve remained strong and I became the first daughter from my village to go to college."
Murmu's win was considered a certainty because of the strength of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the parliament and state assemblies.