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, 18 September 2013

Reflections from a Kathmandu newby

 Arriving on a balmy afternoon in Kathmandu we began our time in Nepal sweating as we climbed onboard the taxi and trundled over the bumpy track to the Transform the Nations guest house at Bouhda, Naya Basti.

Driving in Nepal was one of the early eye openers as dozens of scooters, trucks, buses, tuk tuks and taxis whizzed past, stopped suddenly and merged mercilessly as we made our way through narrow streets. No obvious road rules apply, beeping horns warn of overtaking or approaching vehicles. Keeping left appears to be mostly optional as does service and repair work requiring more than race tape!

The bright colours chosen to paint the three and four story brick and concrete dwellings that are crammed in was another sensory overload along with the varying strength of pungent roadside cooking odours. Monkeys, cattle and traders line the road side all trying to make enough income for families living in this bustling city. Dozens of cables bound together strung from leaning poles stand just out of reach carrying the electricity to each shop, stall, business house and home. Not a place for a stoic work place health and safety officer.

Today we ventured through downtown Bouhda to the Miriam Baby Centre. Here we met the staff and had a lovely time with the toddlers that were rescued as babies from incredible situations that melt even the hardest heart. It is a pleasure to see and be a part the invaluable work of the Transform the Nations ministry as it makes life changing impact into the lives of those being helped. Later the girls, having finished school came and were thrilled to reconnect with Ma Ma Robyn and meet the rest of us. They sang and danced as a celebration of seeing Robyn again, these young ones appreciate already the change that Grahame and Robyn have brought them.

God is at work here in the midst of poverty, heartache and struggle and those that have joined Him in this place are seeing blessing and answer to prayer in ways that evidence His hand on the work.
Such valuable and meaningful work is not done by any one person nor by only those here and visiting Nepal. It requires the faithful fervent prayers of you the supporters standing along side and partnering in the work. So a massive thank you, keep up the good work.

The calendar is busy for the time ahead and we look forward to each day as it unfolds. Let the adventure continue.

Geoff, Gloria and Brooke.

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