Bidya Devi Bhandari is a Nepali politician who is known for being the second president of Nepal. In 2015, she became the first woman to hold the president’s office in Nepal. Earlier, she served as the minister of defence and minister of environment and population, the vice-chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist), and the chairman of the All Nepal Women’s Association. From 2009 to 2011, Bidya Bhandari served as the Minister of Defence. In 1997, she served as the Minister of Environment and Population.Bidya Devi’s grandfather’s name is Tilak Bahadur Pandey, and he was a social worker as well as a Pradhan Pancha of his village. Once, in a media interview, Bidya Bhandari stated that she was the first person in her family to complete matriculation. Her grandfather persuaded her other family members to educate her. She said, I happened to be a role model for the women in my village and it prompted other parents to send their daughters to school.”.When she was seven years old, she started learning the skills of politics from her grandfather and uncles who once worked as members and activists in the Nepal Student’s Union and the ANNFSU. Once, in a media interview, she disclosed that in her childhood, whenever she used to see any beggar or poor person, she felt very bad for them. She said, I felt very bad when I saw some people begging for money, medicine or some old dresses to wear. I wondered why they were so poor and what was the cause of this inequality.”.When she was in eighth grade, she learnt about the Coordination Committee, which was founded in 1975. She joined this committee and began distributing its pamphlets in villages to warn the local landlords.In 1978, Bidya Devi Bhandari ventured into politics and joined the Youth League of CPN (ML) as an activist from Bhojpur. In 1979, she was appointed as in charge of the Eastern Zone Committee of ANNFSU, and she served in the position till 1987. Bidya Devi Bhandari while being appointed to a ministerial post in Nepal.In 1980, Bidya Devi received a party membership from the CPN (ML). During her college days at Mahendra Morang Adarsha Multiple Campus, she was chosen as the student union leader. In 1993, Bidya Bhandari was appointed as the chairperson of the women’s wing of GEFONT. In 1997, she was then elected as a central committee member of the CPN (UML).In January 1994, Bidya Bhandari was elected to the parliament as a sitting member from the Kathmandu–1 constituency in a by-election after the death of her husband. In these elections, she defeated her opponent and former Prime Minister of Nepal Krishna Prasad Bhattarai. During the general elections of 1994, Bidya Bhandari defeated the house speaker Daman Nath Dhungana and was elected from the Kathmandu–2 constituency. Soon after winning the elections, she was appointed as the Minister for Environment and Population. Bidya Devi Bhandari during a political rally.In 1999, Bidya Bhandari re-contested the elections from the Kathmandu–2 constituency and won. In 2008, during the Constituent Assembly elections, she lost; however, later, she was nominated by following a proportional electoral system. She was appointed as the Minister of Defence in the cabinet ministry of Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. In the 2013 elections, Bidya Bhandari was re-elected by following a proportional electoral system.Reportedly, Bidya Bhandari played a dominant role in the party. In the eighth general convention of the party organised in Butwal, she was then re-elected as vice-chairperson of the CPN (UML). During this time, she was considered a close confidante of the party chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. Bidya Devi Bhandari at her office.On 28 October 2015, Bidya Bhandari was elected as the president of Nepal by an indirect election organised in the parliament of Nepal. During these elections, she defeated her opponent and Nepali Congress leader Kul Bahadur Gurung. She received 327 votes against Gurung’s 214 votes. Upon winning these elections, Bidya Bhandari became the first female head of the state and the second president of Nepal. In 2018, she was re-elected to the same position, and in these elections, she defeated her opponent and Congress leader Kumari Laxmi Rai. The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi along with the BIMSTEC leaders calls on the President of Nepal, Ms Bidya Devi Bhandari, in Kathmandu, Nepal on 30 August 2018.