This savings account is a national heritage

December 4th, 2008 - 11:57 am ICT by IANS  

Patna, Dec 4 (IANS) It’s a savings account that has a balance of just Rs.1,508. It has not been operated for over decades. Yet, a bank here takes pride in the account holder - for it belonged to the country’s first president, Rajendra Prasad.The account at the Exhibition Road branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) has not been closed by the authorities even four decades after Rajendra Prasad’s death as a mark of respect to him.

“For the PNB, Rajendra Prasad’s savings account is a national heritage, we are proud to preserve it for future generations,” Sailesh Ranjan Singh, chief manager of the bank, told IANS.

Singh said the bank branch was directed by its head office in New Delhi to keep the account active as a national heritage and in view of its importance.

“The bank will keep the account active as long as possible,” he said.

In 2007, the balance in the savings account held by late Rajendra Prasad, the Bharat Ratna awardee, was Rs.1,432. The bank added interest to the amount, so it is now Rs.1,508.

“At a time when the present-day politicians declare assets worth billions, the balance in Rajendra Prasad’s account signifies his honesty and integrity in public life. It is a lesson for the young,” another bank official said.

According to bank officials, no one has come forward till date to withdraw the amount as there was no nominee for the account. Rajendra Prasad’s descendants have already migrated out of Bihar. Bank officials said that the account was an asset for the bank.

Rajendra Prasad was born Dec 3, 1884, at Zeradei in Bihar’s Siwan district and died Feb 28, 1963, in Patna. After 12 years as president - from 1950 to 1962 - he retired and was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

He spent the last months of his life at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna.

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