Desperate Girls

The Badi Girls

Between 7,000 and 12,000 young girls, aged 9-16, are trafficked each year from Nepal; mainly to India. According to Nepal Monitor/On line journal, 2007, there are more than 200,000 Nepali girls in Indian brothels.

The Dalits(untouchables) are the lowest level in Hindu society, and the Badi community, in Western Nepal, are the lowest of the low. As a displaced hungry people group the Badi community has made sexual subservience a way of life. Young girls from this group “serve” other groups. This has become a tradition and means of livelihood. Many girls, even when they are unwilling, are forced to serve as sex slaves. Family members knowingly sell their daughters to traffickers.

Though prostitution is illegal in Nepal, the industry reportedly has links with highly ranked officials and political leaders. Large groups of girls are taken across the border with many police and government officials being in collusion with traffickers and brothel owners.

Traffickers and related criminals are often protected by political parties, and if arrested, are freed using political power. As a result, there is an underlying distrust of police that has led people not to file cases against traffickers.

Domestic action involves activities of NGO’s and other volunteer groups. These groups are playing a major role to address girl-trafficking and sex slaves issues. Some NGO’s are playing a very important role to improve the situation. From creating social awareness to rescuing and rehabilitation, they are providing services (and relief) to those that need it the most – the likely victims as well as the rescued ones. The Lighthouse foundation is one of these.

*See Chandra Kala’s story on this blog site.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Monday. New Years Eve

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, and we wonder what it will hold.  The political situation here is still at a stalemate

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunday- Conference begins

All the eager young teachers were rearing to go today.  It is a big operation to organise.  There must be 200 people, plus they get a hot meal at lunch time, plus morning tea.  Some come from far and wide so they need to be accommodated at the Bible School.  Our young principal has organised it all and she is only 25 or so.  Young people mature very early here and take on serious responsibilities.  She is an impressive young woman.  Many of the young people are just amazing.  I stayed for the singing , and then some of the kids from the school did an item, and Ted Boyce is the keynote speaker for this week. He was challenging his audience to have a mission heart and be willing to say "Yes Lord, send me"  Afterwards, I went to Tusal hostel to see our gorgeous little babies in the Miriam centre.  Little Miriam, (our first baby, hence the name), the cute triplets (who are doing so well after such a rough start in life) and our fifth one, a little boy.  The triplets are two boys and one girl.  Their mother died the next day after giving birth and they were very malnourished, but they are powering on now.Today the carers had just finished feeding them and they were all wrapped up and out in the sun for a little while, all sleeping soundly  The weather is so warm outside.  I then visited our girls up on the rooftop where they had just finished lunch.  It is always a pack attack, but I love every minute of it.  One of them got a nepali drum and the music began, and we all danced together in the sun, I took photos and then another pack attack to see if they could see themselves in the photos.  The boys Grahame brought back last time from Chepang are there.  They were so hungry, had their heads shaved because they were infested with head lice.  Now their hair has grown back and they look so much better.  They wouldn't join in the dancing.  They are still very shy having lived on a remote mountain top.  Kathamandu must seem overwhelming. The team will get home from the conference before 5 p.m. and then we are invited to Raju's house for dinner.  I am looking forward to hearing how each class went.  We have a great team.  They are all a pleasure to be with.  Ted and Stephen are here for a week, then two others come as they leave, then another 2 arrive a few days later.  All with different skills and abilities to help train these lovely people to excel in all they do.  We are still looking for new digs as the rubbish dump has grown yet again, ever encroaching on our guest house.  .  No naughty house-breaking monkey as yet.  Lets hope it was a one off.          Robyn.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Back in the land of mountains

 It  is the 29th of December, 2012.  We arrived yesterday in the early afternoon; the sun was shining and the day was beautiful and warm.  We were expecting to be freezing.  When we got to the flat, it was cold inside though.  We needed to rug up at night.  There are 14 hours a day without electricity so it is good that is chilly, with not much refrigeration.  But we learn to work around it, and sort of get used to it.  We have seven  team members here and we are all a little weary.  The conference starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. for the next two weeks for full time teacher training.  Also governance, and community development.  I start my doll making on Tuesday.  Can't wait. We went to church this morning.  The first service was packed to the doors.  The band was wonderful and the preaching passionate.  I met Bimala again (my little sponsored girl) She had her 12th birthday last week.  She is so tiny it is hard to believe she is that old.  Some of the women from the half-way house were there also all smiles and cuddles.  It was lovely when we arrived at the airport yesterday, two of the women from the half-way house were there to greet us with marigold lays to welcome us here.  I was very touched by that.  Our inverter was not working when we got here.  It was fine when we left.  With such a shortage of electricity it is good to have a way at least to charge our computers and phones etc.  We hope it can be repaired.  Apparently, the Badi girls will be part of a movie that some famous movie star here is making about the importance of education.  I am a bit vague about the details, but Raju is very excited.  At some point, I am going to the half-way house with an interpreter to get their stories.  Also for the new little girls who came in since were here last.  When we arrived at church this morning, some children were practicing some items they will be performing tomorrow at the beginning of the conference.  They were singing, playing recorders and violins.  Now they are just normal little girls doing things that would not have been in their wildest dreams a couple of years ago.  I can hear my pressure cooker about to blow it's top out in the kitchen so I need to attend to it.