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Meet Krishna Kumari Kohli, the first Dalit woman to make it to Pakistan Senate


In this picture taken on March 3, 2018, Pakistani opposition candidate Krishna Kumari Kohli walks out from the Sindh province assembly building after the Senate election in Karachi.
Pakistan elected its first female senator from the lowest Dalit caste over the weekend, in polls which also saw the ruling party strengthen its hand ahead of general elections in the Muslim-majority country. (AFP/Getty Images)
In this picture taken on March 3, 2018, Pakistani opposition candidate Krishna Kumari Kohli walks out from the Sindh province assembly building after the Senate election in Karachi. Pakistan elected its first female senator from the lowest Dalit caste over the weekend, in polls which also saw the ruling party strengthen its hand ahead of general elections in the Muslim-majority country. (AFP/Getty Images)

Krishna Kumari Kohli has made history by becoming the first Dalit woman to make it to Pakistan Senate.

Kohli, 39, is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and she was elected senator on a women’s seat from Sindh.

Kohli’s victory is a milestone for the Hindus in the country as Pakistan’s Hindus make up only around two percent of the country’s 20 crore people.

Twitter has been lauding the inclusion of a woman from the minority background.

“Kudos to PPP for electing #KrishnaKohli…. Our parliament should have representatives of all religions, classes & genders in pursuit of true democracy,” tweeted rights activist Jibran Nasir.

“So good to see a minority based, female, #KrishnaKohli getting elected to Senate,” another tweet read.

Praising Zardari, another wrote: “Congrats to #KrishnaKohli , 1st #Pakistani dilit woman,elected as senator in #Pakistan. Pk is struggling to resist extremism&minority mistreatment remains an issue but there r plenty of positive indications. It’ll not change overnight but it’s changing.Well done @BBhuttoZardari.”

Who really is Krishna Kumari Kohli?

She was born in Nagarparkar village in Tharparkar district, Sindh province, and had to go through various difficulties while growing up. Besides battling hunger and poverty, she was also a victim of bonded labour. But that did not deter her passion for knowledge.

Despite being married when she was ninth grade, she did not give up on her studies and in 2013 she did her masters in sociology from Sindh University. Social service has always been a part of her life, and even while at university, she continuously worked to end bonded labour, sexual harassment and aimed for gender equality.

“Fortunately my husband and in-laws were extremely supportive and encouraged me to continue my education,” Kohli told a local news channel. “We didn’t have electricity so I used to study with the help of an oil lantern,” she added.

Kohli also told the news channel that wants to work towards ending child marriages and forced conversions.

“I will struggle for implementation of the laws in constitution drafted for the rights of women. There are laws for rights of women but none of them have been implemented,” she said.