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KARACHI: Social activist Krishna Kumari, who made waves earlier this year by becoming the first Hindu Thari woman to make it to the Senate, once again did so on Monday by joining 99 other women on the BBC’s 100 list of inspirational and influential women for 2018.

The list includes the names of vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea Clinton, actress Jamila Jamil, FGM activist Nimco Ali and author Isabel Allende.

Talking to Dawn, Ms Kumari said she was very happy about making it to the list along with such powerhouse women, including former heads of state.

“I am from the Kohli community…from a poor family and I believe it is my good luck that I have made it to such an important list to represent Pakistan,” she said.

“My parents don’t know yet as the network isn’t working in their area, but I will try to send them a message about it today (Tuesday),” she added.

The 40-year-old senator hails from the remote village of Dhana Gam in Nagarparkar. She was selected as a candidate on a reserved seat for women (from Sindh) by the Pakistan Peoples Party in March.

Born on Feb 1, 1979, Ms Kumari had a tough childhood. She along with her family was held for three years as bonded labour in a private jail allegedly owned by a landlord in the Kunri area of Umerkot district. They were set free after a police raid on the farm.

She started her primary education initially from Talhi village of Umerkot district and then the Tando Kolachi area of Mirpurkhas district.

Her parents facilitated her and her brother Veerji’s studies and academic activities despite the hard days they had been going through.

Last year, singer Momina Mustehsan made it to the list.

Now in its sixth year, the BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world annually.

According to its website, the BBC 100 Women aims to explore a variety of themes, including using anger to spark action, and uncovering women from the shadows of history.

Ranging in age from 15 to 94, and from more than 60 countries, the BBC 100 Women list includes leaders, trailblazers and everyday heroes. Some will be telling us about what they will be putting in the Freedom Trash Can — our digital bin for all the items women feel hold them back. Others will bring us stories of achievement against the odds — from the British woman who used her jail time to create an inspiring business, to the Afghan girl who was almost swapped for a boy, the website says.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018

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