AMN / KARACHI
Krishna Kumari, a young lady from Kohli tribe (SC) in Sindh is all set to become first Hindu woman to be elected to the Pakistan’s Senate, the upper House of parliament.
Pakistan People’s Party, PPP has nominated Kumari, from Thar to contest a general seat for the upcoming Senate election to be held on March 3.
Senate elections are held every three years when half of the senators complete their six-year term out of 104-member Senate.
Kumari is a social activist who joined PPP along with her brother, who was elected chairman of union council Berano. She has filed nomination papers to contest the election on PPP ticket.
Born to a poor peasant Jugno Kolhi in February 1979, Kumari and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail allegedly owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive.
“My life was the toughest. My family was held for bonded labor when I was a child,” Kumari recalled, explaining that the eventually freed her family.
Kumari was married to Lalchand at the age of 16, when she was studying in 9th grade. However, her husband supported her in pursuing studies, as later in 2013 she did masters in sociology from Sindh University. She also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas.
“I’m happy, I’m feeling great,” Kumari told media person while filing her nomination at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regional office in Karachi on Wednesday.
“I never dreamed that I would ever make it to the upper house of Pakistan’s Parliament,” she said.
Kumari said that she did not feel her position as a member of one of the country’s scheduled castes had held her back.
“Being in a minority has never been a disadvantage in Pakistan. I have never faced any discrimination for being a non-Muslim Pakistani and my selection proves that Pakistan is a country of people from all faiths,” she said.
Kumari stressed that education, particularly for girls, will remain her top priority for the next six years if she is elected as a senator.
“I have not set many targets. I have only one target and that’s educating all girls of Sindh in general and Thar in particular,” she said.
She added that she hoped to be able to represent disadvantaged women, too.
“Our father, though he himself was illiterate, was determined to give us an education,” she said. “At dawn, I would go to school but (straight after school) my mother would take us to the farmland and we would work there until sunset.”
Kumari credited former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto with opening the door for other women in Pakistani politics.
“It’s the ideology of BB Shaheed which has given women a chance to serve everywhere from the embassies to the foreign office and provincial and national assemblies, to the senate of Pakistan,” Kumari said.