Krishna Kohli, Pakistans’s first ever Dalit Senator

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Krishna Kumari Kolhi (Sindhi: ڪرشن ڪماري ڪوهلي‎ Urdu: کرشنا کماری کوہلی‎; born 1 February 1979), also known by the nickname Kishoo Bai, is a Pakistani politician who has been the member of the Senate of Pakistan since March 2018. She is the first Hindu Dalit woman and the second Hindu woman to hold this position. She is known for her campaigns for women’s rights and against bonded labour.

Krishana Kolhi; Pakistan’s first ever Dalit Hindu woman to become a senator! She belongs to the Kohli tribe whose girls rarely get up to primary schooling let alone thinking of becoming a lawmaker. Born in 1979, she belongs Pakistan’s largest desert Tharparkar where women spend their entire life fetching water from 300 ft. deep wells. As a child, she was shackled in bonded labour on the fields of a local landlord. According to her, “We didn’t have electricity so I used to study under the light of an oil lantern.” She was married off when she was in her 9th Grade but fortunately, her husband was supportive enough to let her continue studying. She has campaigned against workplace harasssment, gender-based violence and bonded-labour. As a senator, she wishes to implement the laws already drafted for women empowerment. Kirshana’s inspiring story is one that of battling a hundred odds and achieving.

Kolhi joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as a social activist to campaign for the rights of marginalised communities in the Thar region. She also campaigns for women’s rights, against bonded labour, and against sexual harassment in the workplace.

 In 2018, she was elected to the Senate of Pakistan in the Pakistan Senate elections as a PPP candidate on a reserved seat for women from Sindh.

She took oath as Senator on 12 March 2018. She became the first Hindu Dalit woman and the second Hindu woman elected to the Senate after Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla.

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