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, 24 April 2013

What a day!

Yesterday, we flew out from Kathmandu to a place called Biratnagar, in the south-east of Nepal.  Katie, Raju, and his wife Simita, Grahame and I left here this morning to see a Bhutanese refuge camp  Raju had to teach at a little Bible School part of the way, so we dropped him and his wife and went on to the camp.  We had no idea, when we left here at 7 a.m. that it would be a 10 hour day.  We were unsure of what we would see.  Many Nepali Bhutanese  were chased out of Bhutan in 1992 and have been in the camps ever since.  We met a young man of 19 today who was born in the camp.  They cannot work as they would be taking jobs from the local people.  There are 40 thousand of them at present.  Originally, we are told there were 160 thousand.  So they just wait to be sent to the States or other places they have applied for.  There are 3 camps in all.  There were 9,000 in the camp we saw.  We were so amazed at what we saw.  Rows and rows of little houses made of bamboo.  The walls were like a basket weave and the roofs  were thatched.  Very humble little places but  everything was very clean.  No paper or rubbish anywhere.  We were invited to lunch at one of the elder's little houses.  We were humbled by the fuss they went to, cooking rice,dahl and even chicken, with curried vegetables.  They have so little. They get a quota of rice each week provided by UN.  We were a little worried, as Grahame and Katie are still not quite well from a meal they ate 10 days ago., but we seem OK tonight.  They tell us that 70% of the camp are Christian due to crusades that have been held by Americans and Australians.  Apparently, at first some say they are converted just because they think it will give them a better chance to get to the West.  But over time, they truly believe.  They are such lovely people.  It make the rough ride worth it.


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