Islamabad: In a first, a Hindu Dalit woman was elected to the Senate, the upper house of Pakistani parliament, in the elections held on Saturday.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s candidate Krishna Kumari Kohli’s victory went viral on the social media. Ms Kohli said she felt proud and was thankful to the PPP for nominating her.
Pakistan’s Hindus, who make up around two percent of the country’s 20 crore people, have long faced economic and social discrimination.
Polling was held to elect 52 members, and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) won 15 new seats in the Senate, securing a total of 33 spots in the 104-seat upper house, which along with support from allies earns the party a dominating majority in the chamber.
Ms Kohli is from Nagarparkar village in Tharparkar. Born in 1979, the Senator-elect battled hunger and poverty early in her life, and was also a victim of bonded labour. Despite her hardships, driven by her passion for knowledge, she continued her education at a run-down school in her neighbourhood.
Ms Kohli was married when she was in ninth grade. “Fortunately my husband and in-laws were extremely supportive and encouraged me to continue my education,” she said.