In this Lok Sabha, 78 women MPs have been elected, one of them is Pramila Bisoi of Orissa, who once used to work as a cook in Anganwadi. She has helped women in self help group (SHG) on a large scale and has now been elected as an MP in the 17th Lok Sabha.
70-year-old Pramila Bisoi is called “Pari Ma” by the locals. She won the elections from the Aska Lok Sabha seat of Odisha on the ticket of Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The victory margin was more than two lakh votes.
Pramila Bisoi was married at the age of five years so she could not study. She worked as a chef in Anganwadi village, and then she started a self-help group in the village and got success too. She became the representative of the ‘Mission Shakti’ of Odisha’s women self-group.
The BJD government made Pramila Bisoi the face of his ambitious plan and that scheme benefited 70 lakh women.
According to media reports, Pramila’s husband was a government employee of class IV grade, his elder son runs a tea shop and younger one has a car repairing shop. The family lives in a house with a tin roof.
His neighbour Jagannath Gowda knows her since childhood. He says, “She has studied only till the third class, but she has changed the lives of poor women living in nearby villages, she has been in active social service for 15 years.
He added, “Despite having very little education, Pramila has the skills to compose songs immediately on occasional events and sings them to motivate women. She has her farms in less than one acre, in which she goes to work.
Shakuntala, who worked with Pramila in a self-help group, told that the women of her group consider Pramila as a mother. Ten years ago, at the request of Pramila, Shakuntala and 14 women from the village together started a self-help group.
The women self help group’s started cultivating maize, peanut and vegetables and has increased their earnings s.
Pramila Bisoi cannot speak Hindi correctly, but in the conversation with the English newspaper, she rejected the argument that only Hindi or English speakers in national politics can be successful.
She said, “I will proudly speak in my native language Oriya in Parliament.”