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, 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.


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