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, 3 October 2014

Friday 3rd October.

Today, is very quiet, as 12 left last night for home.  Everyone had a wonderful time, though a few were not well upon leaving, but did manage to accomplish all that they wanted.  Below are our beautiful ladies, minus one, who had gone back to the village for festival.  Trish had an amazing time with them, training for work readiness.  Things that seem so elementary to us, are a complete revelation to them.  They have grown in confidence with this training and it is wonderful to see how far they have come.  They have been practicing their hospitality and developing their balancing skills with the plates and making great coffee and hot chocolate.  We are working toward setting up a coffee shop in the near future, where the girls can actually begin earning a living.  We would like to also have their craft items, like the dolls and jewellery for sale in the shop, and also a little book shop.  The problem is finding a shop to rent in a good area is very difficult.   Grahame is looking at something this morning, but we have learned not to get too optimistic.  It is Dashain festival this week.  Apparently, 1 million goats are shipped from India for this week, for sacrifices to gods.  We were walking up the street yesterday, and their was a stream of bloody water running down the lane.  We passed a house, where they were butchering a goat.  There was a large dish with all the intestines etc as well.  They offer the blood to their gods and then eat everything, intestines and all.  Apparently, some even drink the blood. There was a cute little goat in a neighbouring front courtyard yesterday, bleating for hours.  There is no noise today, so I guess he has met his fate.  This festival is the reason  quite a few of our girls have gone home.  We have been invited to go to one of the hostels for lunch.  We will be joining the girls for festival lunch.  Even though, as christians, they don't  offer to gods, they still have a special meal (with goat) just like having a Christmas dinner.  I'll try to keep the image of that little goat out of my mind.  I know we eat meat at home, and there is really no difference, but it is just life in the raw here.  Everything is so sanitised  at home.  Passover  time would have been a very bloody affair in Israel.  So the young women have done hospitality, baking, jewellery making, tailoring, preparation for work, doll making, and self defence .  One of them told Trish that she would never in her wildest dreams consider that her life could be like this.  They are all so thankful.  Of course, there has been Bible training both out in the West and also here with young eager church leaders, there has also been educational training in the schools, a computer centre set up in the hostel for improved training for ESL, and ESL class training young people in English in preparation for University in Indonesia, face painting and ballooning (which was a fabulous treat for the kids and not so little kids).  Visits to the hostels, with lots of fun and games, and Aussies loosing their hearts to these precious little ones. There have been many weary workers, frustrations and sickness also, but that is an expected part of life here.(please don't ask "how was your holiday.")  We are so thankful for everyone who has invested time, energy, money and love in the lives of our girls, and young adults.  I will let you know if we have any good news on the coffee shop.

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