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.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Thursday, last night

It is our last night tonight.  We fly out on the red-eye flight tomorrow night.  Tonight, we were invited to dinner with a family and to be a part of their home group.  Grahame was invited to lead the study.  The church has many discipleship groups, home groups running through the week.  People receive good grounding  in the scriptures.  The church is over 1,000 people and 52 satellite churches.  The speed at which the churches are growing , people being baptised and discipled is amazing.  Leann and Ian left today, so we are "Darby and Joan" tonight. (If there is anyone out there old enough to know what that expression means). We are very excited, as we became grandparents again this morning.  We have a new little granddaughter, arrived safe a well.  Number 10 for us.  It will be good to get home and meet her.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Monday. Captain hornblower

During the night last night, far off in the distance, about 1am., the faint sound of a mournful horn could be heard.  By about 4 a.m., it passed loudly by under our windows, accompanied by low chanting.  We have been serenaded by this character once before.  He is some sort of priest getting rid of evil spirits by blowing a horn made of a human thigh bone, preferably a criminal's.  It is moments like this one wishes to have a high-powered water gun at the ready.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Saturday - Mountains, statues and church

Today, being Saturday, is church day here.  The team were heading out for Dologhat, to a little village church, two and a half hours drive away.  It was pretty cold but very sunny and the day warmed up as it went along.  What a magnificent drive.  For much of the way, the glorious Himalayan mountain range gleamed in the sun.  Pure white peaks declaring the glory of God's handiwork.  About half way, there is an enormous statue, 143ft. high, of Shiva, the god of war , or the Destroyer, as he is called.  He broods over the Kathmandu valley.  These gods have hideous faces and hold their worshippers in fear.  How marvellous to follow the One who made those wonderful mountains, and  set  us free from fear.  We arrived at the little church up in the loft above a little shop.  Simple country people, who love the Lord, so thankful to know "The God" who sets them free.  They had all the windows open and everyone was breathing "fog" so it was nice to get out into the sunshine later.  Grahame finalised the deal on the land, near the church, where we plan to set up a training centre, church, school, conference and camping centre.  Grahame goes out on Wednesday to supervise the first work of pushing dirt, to prepare a flat place to begin the first stage.  The land is on a beautiful river that winds through the mountains.  Please pray for Leann, as she is still not well.  Yesterday, I began interviewing the first of 23 new girls, and tomorrow, I need to finish the job.  We have an American couple staying with us for a couple of days, then Leann and Ian leave on Thursday and we fly out late on Friday.   The girls at the hostel absolutely love the song "From the River" and want to learn it.  They want it playing while we are making dolls also.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wednesday - cost of discipleship

We have a young woman, 20, who is living here in our guest house, who has been thrown out by her family since becoming a Christian.  She is Tibetian.  She has just completed four months in Raju's bible college, and together with a Tibetian man, who has also been to college with her, will plant a Tibetian church near here, as this is a strongly Tibetian area, with the big (Stupa) temple just nearby.  Leann is very unwell today, having succumbed to " Kathmandu belly".  She had to cancel her cooking class today.  The girls were very disappointed.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tuesday - Apple pies, very hot curry, and illness

The girls in the kitchen cooked up a storm today, firstly with Anzac biscuits, and in the afternoon; lovely mini apple pies, some with lattice tops.  I was even surprised with a couple of gluten free ones.  The girls were all giggles because of a big surprise for me, and very proudly produced the little special diet ones (under Leann's guidance).   Some of the girls are here quite early and prepare the lunch time meal  for about 30 people, before they begin their classes.  Netra (our overseer of the vocational programme and caretaker of our property) organises the meal ,but they do the work.  Yesterday's was too hot for me, having a pain in the stomach for the rest of the day, but today, even the Nepalese were having trouble.  I opted for a couple of fried eggs.  Two girls in the jewellery class became quite ill in the afternoon; one with quite bad vomiting and the other with a very swollen neck (maybe glandular trouble or mumps). Don't think the curry was to blame.  Whatever they have, we are all hoping it isn't contagious.  They were both taken to hospital, and we hope they are OK.  Grahame is still not well, but slightly improved.  We have lost one of our interesting locals.  The old dog , who has one eye that looks like a ball of raw mince after a street brawl, and affectionately known as "meatball"  has passed onto doggy heaven.  It seems strange for him not to be in his usual spot.  Someone saw his body in the gutter in the Main Street.  Apparently, that is the normal practice. It is taken there and collected by the garbage man.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday Royal Welcome

We went to visit the girls at Tusal this afternoon, and we indeed had a royal welcome.  As we arrived through the big metal gate, we were welcomed by a group of girls with marigold lays to  present to us.  Then as we walked to the edge of the building  all the  girls popped up from behind the balcony on the first floor, and showered us with marigold petals.  They had painted a huge sign of welcome stuck on the entrance and also a large sign at the top of the first flight of stairs saying 'thanks for your love".  Then when we got to the second floor, all 73 of the children were seated on the floor waiting for us to arrive and as we came around the corner, a great big cheer greeted us.  We had some singing and dancing and some girls came out and sang beautifully.  I had Josh's song printed in Nepali, so someone told them the story of the song and then we played it for them.  We also did the "hokey pokey" together, a game they love to play  We had such a good time and were sorry to leave to do mundane shopping for food.  Grahame is still not at all well.  Let's hope tomorrow will be a better day for him.  Training starts tomorrow, in three separate groups, then we will all eat lunch together.  I always love that, as there is something about sharing a meal together that builds relationships.


Sunday, back in our second home

I arrived here at lunch time on Friday, to reasonably warm weather for this time of the year.  Nothing has changed much, still chaotic, colourful, tragic.  I wrote two blogs but they disappeared into the atmosphere.  I'm sure it was my fault, so I will start again.  Our team at present is only three.  Grahame, myself and Leann.  Leann's husband is out in the west teaching. "Creation to Christ" to 40 or so pastors,  leaders and deacons. He will return here on Thursday.  Leann is doing cooking training, I am doing more doll making(eventually for the tourist trade) and another Nepalese lady is doing jewellery making.  So we will have a full house the next two weeks, as all the training is here in the guest house on the ground floor.  I am a late arrival as my mum passed away and I needed to stay behind for the funeral. Grahame has already been here for two weeks for the teachers conference.  There were 115 or so here for training and we are so thankful for the wonderful educators who come from Australia each year and give their expertise and even more importantly, their love to these beautiful people, so keen to learn.  Grahame is quite ill.  We don't know if it is food poisoning or something else .  He spent the day in bed(which never happens) yesterday, and he is still very unwell this morning.  Please pray.  Also, there is a little girl who has recently come into our care, who is in ICU and very ill.  Please pray for her also.  Church yesterday was, as always, a joy to be part of.  The singing is so wonderful, and Raju is a fantastic preacher. Very animated and funny.  Only wish I knew what he was saying.  But he had his congregation totally focused.