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- Varahagiri Venkata Giri commonly known as V. V. Giri, was the fourth President of the Republic of India from 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974.
- Giri was born in Berhampur in the Ganjam district of Odisha. His father, V. V. Jogayya Pantulu, was a successful lawyer and political activist of the Indian National Congress. Giri’s mother Subhadramma was active in the national movement in Berhampur during the Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements and was arrested for leading a strike for prohibition during the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- He joined the Indian National Congress Party and became active in the trade union movement. He was a founding member of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation and twice president of the All India Trade Union Congress.
- He was succeeded by Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed as President in 1974.
- He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in the year 1975 .He is the only Odia to be felicitated with the honour.
- Between 1947 – 1951, Giri served as India’s first High Commissioner to Sri Lanka .
- A commemorative postage stamp on V V Giri was released by the Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department in 1974.The National Labour Institute was renamed in honour of V V Giri in 1995.Giri’s hometown of Berhampur has a major road, a secondary training school and a market that are named after him.
- Giri authored Industrial Relations and Labour Problems in Indian Industry, two popular books on issues of labour in India.His memoirs, published in 1976, are titled My Life and Times.
- He was honoured with –
- Commemorative Medal of the 2500th Anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire (14/10/1971).
- King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal 1974.gif King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal (Kingdom of Bhutan, 02/06/1974).
- Bharat Ratna Ribbon.svg Bharat Ratna (Republic of India, 1975
Also Read : List of Bharat Ratna Awardee