Sunita Parmar Menghwar, the first Hindu woman to contest the upcoming provincial assembly elections from Tharparkar in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, has refused to bow down to political pressure and withdraw her candidature.
Sunita Parmar Menghwar, the first Hindu woman to contest the upcoming provincial assembly elections from Tharparkar in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, has refused to bow down to political pressure and withdraw her candidature. Sunita, a woman from Hindu Meghwar community, has been facing increasing pressure from the male-dominated feudal landlords in the impoverished Tharparkar district not to contest the elections on July 25. But breaking barriers, Sunita insisted she wanted to challenge the status quo based on the feudal-electoral system in Tharparkar and has filed her nomination papers as an independent candidate from PS-56. The 30-year old insisted she is contesting the elections because no political party had done anything to improve the lives and facilities for the people of Thar.
“Thari women are even ready to fight the lion now after so many disappointments,” she told PTI over phone. Sindh’s southern bordering district Tharparkar has the highest number of Hindus minorities in Pakistan. According to census 2017, the total population of Tharparkar district is 1.6 million out of which around half of the population is Hindus.
Sunita said she wanted to play a role in resolving the issues of healthcare, clean drinking water and education for the people of Thar. In a video message, that is going viral, Sunita blamed ruling political parties in Sindh for worsening conditions of women, especially in education and health sector.
Sunita, who belongs to Islamkot Taluka in Tharparkar, has to fight the might of the three feudal lord clans including the Thakurs, Maharaj and Arbabs. Tharparkar has a high mortality rate every year for infants due to the various problems in the Thar area. She is confident of winning the elections as she is being supported by the Menghwar community which has significant vote bank in the area.
Sunita, a mother of three children, has also received immense support from her family and is confident she will make a difference in the lives of the people in Thar. The vote bank in the area is dominated by the Menghwar, Bheel and Kohli Hindu communities who have a nearly 70 per cent vote bank. In March, another Hindu woman, Krishna Kumari Kolhi, became the first-ever Hindu Dalit woman Senator in the Muslim-majority country after she was nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party for the elections to the reserve women’s seat in the Senate.