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.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Friday 25 April. Anzac Day

It didn't seem much like Anzac Day today, although the ESL class did learn much about the "Gurkhas" who fought with the British in WW1 .  They come from a place called Gorka in Nepal and were great soldiers.  Today, we spent a large part of the day shopping for our merchandise for our online and sales as we travel around promoting the work here.  Beautiful pashminas, felt products and paper mâché.  All Nepal products in all their beautiful colours.  A Nepali friend guided us through the maze of streets, packed with pedestrians, taxis and rickshaws.  Totally disorienting.  Then we looked for material for Margaret, who wants to make aprons with a special logo for our hospitality trainees.  Also hoping to sell them in Oz.  We went to a tiny little shop with fabrics.  No! Nothing there but  he wanted us to follow him across the road. We opened a small double wooden door into a dark hall, strongly smelling of urine.  Then began the climb up five double flights of stairs to the top floor, (death by a thousand steps) Every room on each floor jam packed with bolts of fabric to the ceiling.   Every space on each landing also piled up with fabric.  Finally, on the top floor, the little man goes over in the corner, and under a pile, there was the material Margaret needed.  All 50metres of it, measured out with a stick a metre long.  How anyone could know how to find that material amongst the thousands of bolts of material is a wonder.  Carrying it around afterwards was also a challenge.  We met up some of the  team for dinner in the tourist area.  David and Stacey spent the day in the school.  Tomorrow is church, and some of the team are taking their sponsored girls out afterwards.  We are now down to 10 here at the guest house.  Seems such a small group now.  


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