Najima Bibi is the first Muslim woman to compete in the Manipur elections. She is competing from the Wagbai constituency and is a candidate of Irom Sharmila’s PRJA party.

She has been fighting against domestic violence for years, and a fatwa has even been issued against her for contesting the elections.

I am not bothered about my life, but as long as I live, I will continue my fight against domestic violence and in favour of the social uplift of Muslim women in society. My life has been a struggle since childhood, I am not afraid of any threats,” she told PTI

Bibi has been a social activist for over 15 years. She was the only girl in her class at school, and is the only girl in her family to complete Std X. Her marriage didn’t work out as her husband turned out to be abusive. After her divorce, she started Cheng Marup, a rice thrift fund to help woman gain economic independence. She even started riding a bicycle around, even though Muslim women in her community were not allowed to ride one.

“I realised that I can begin fighting most of it off by just riding a bicycle,” she told the Wire.

“I am not bothered about my life, but as long as I live I will continue my fight against domestic violence and in favour of social upliftment of the Muslim women in society. My life has been a struggle since childhood, I am not afraid of any threats,” she told PTI.

Bibi attended a workshop in 2001 on gender violence, and it was then that she realised that her experience was not solitary. She now runs a home for destitute women.

She has always fought against the conservative milieu she lives in. The Muslim clerics in her village have threatened her for contesting the elections, and have even said that she won’t be buried in the village aftet her death. But she doesn’t care as long as she can spend her life helping women.

“I know I am fighting formidable forces; they know many a trick to win elections. It is the biggest struggle for me to convince the voters about what is actually good for them. But I am confident to surmount it with the help of my supporters,” she told The Wire.

Cheers to this brave lady and all the best to her for the March 8 elections.

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