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.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Lit up in Kathmandu

Finally, we have our power restored.  We got an electrician to check the house and apparently, the wiring is in a bad state.  We have a voltage regulator sitting on our fridge which has made a great difference and we have settled down to our normal power shortages.   Grahame and our photographer, are meeting 26 new little girls at the bus at 7a.m. this morning.  They will be very weary after an 18 and half hour trip on a rough, winding road and probably being sick all the way.  We are looking forward to seeing our new little ones.  We will need to hear their stories, but will need to wait till they settle down a bit.  Margaret's cooking class is going very well.  She has 14 girls and we can smell aromas of cooking cakes wafting through the house.  And inspect, with awe, all the colourful cake decorations they are enthusiastically churning out.  The ladies in my class will be doing the cooking class next week.  It will be quiet here for a week, as quite a few of the team are going out to the west for almost a week.  Joanna will be setting up the new little school out there.  One young woman from here will be the principal, and another teacher, plus two in training.  Katie will be doing her magic photography of all the events.  So I will be here with Margaret, Barry, and Gloria.  We feed all the trainees for lunch plus all 11 in the team.  Fortunately, we have a fine young man who cooks that meal, which gives me a break, only leaving the evening meal to do for everyone.  Everyone got in yesterday, when the power was on, and cleaned,and vacuumed etc.  The dust in this place is indescribable.  Everything in the house is covered in a layer of dust.  It is back there again every day.  We have had a lot of tradies here to repair the many things that seem to be breaking down here.  Lets pray that we have got all the bugs sorted out now.  Linda and Liat will be here for 10 weeks, so we don't want them to have those sorts of things to have to worry about.  Out September team has grown to 27.  I'm glad I have two ladies coming next time who will be a great help with the cooking.  We bought an ioniser  to put the fruit and veges in so that we can eat them uncooked.  Naturally, it hasn't had much use to date with the power problems but now we can eat some the the lovely grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  We can now have salad for lunch.  We have to blog early in the morning, as the traffic on the internet after about 8 a.m is horrendous.            Robyn

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