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.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Gifts of Gold

When I arrived here two weeks ago, armed with literally kilograms of lessons plans, photocopies and textbooks, I had no idea of the joy this experience would bring. Phase 2 of the Effective Teaching Series challenges all notions of the purpose of Education here in Nepal.  In a system where you are ranked against your peers on report cards, making high marks is the ultimate goal, and where the only strategy to learning is by rote, the truth of each of us having different gifts, learning in different ways and our ultimate goal being to serve him in our own unique way brought freedom that was often visible on my student's faces. I got to return to my primary training roots and played games and sang songs.  At first my challenges to think creatively and ask questions were a bit too much for some, but they took to opening their mouths eventually and were getting the hang of our noisy communicative Australian style by the time the course was through.

For me, I was in heaven teaching these wonderful people who are so eager to learn God's principles, so honouring in their approaches, so invested in their nation's future. Raju is literally equipping his people to be transformers, of this region, this nation, the neighbouring nations and the world.  The degree of vision and taking responsibility for welfare of this land is like nothing I have seen before in my travels. Like many of my fellow presenters, I am leaving knowing that it is I who have been blessed and changed more than I can begin to describe. God brought me here to Nepal to meet people who have poured wisdom and love into my life. They are, all of them, gifts of gold!

Miriam Ham
Lecturer CQU

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