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.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Monday 19th January. Visas, sewing machines,and bundas.

Today, we had to go to the Nepalese visa office to extend our visas for three days.  We lined up in one line, hand over our papers, then have to line up in another line to pay for the visa, then line up in another line to get the stamp.  The whole time we are streamlining the method in our minds;but I guess it makes for employment.  Then we went off to look at generators (yawn). We will need a couple for future projects.  Especially the coffee shop.  We will need power constantly for that.  We have had no power at all today and it is 4 pm.  Then we went into various little dark shops looking for a machine to do fine roll hemming for the clothes for the doll making. I found that much more interesting.  I said I wanted demo. on fine material.  As he had nothing in the shop ( he looked more like a mechanic and about as clean), and there was a lady sitting on a little chair in the sun in front of the next shop, he borrowed her scarf, that was a bit ragged on the end anyway, and did his demo on that.  She was quite happy as her scarf was tidied up, we had a satisfactory demo, and he sold a machine.  So all parties were satisfied.  Grahame had to pick up plane tickets, which eventually took over three hours, due to no electricity, and incompetence.  I had two pairs of jeans made up the street. About $13 each.  Not bad.  There will probably be another "bunda" (strike) tomorrow so everything will be closed down and no vehicles or bikes allowed on the streets.  The politicians are locked into a meeting tonight (and I mean locked in) with high security and they continue to debate the constitution.  If there is no outcome, there will be trouble tomorrow.  The young women from the half-way house ( recently renamed "Our Home") usually walk here for their training or doll-making, but if there is a bunda, it will be unsafe for them to walk, so they will need to stay at home.  I met an English lady today at the visa office, and she said she saw people throwing bricks at a car last week because it was on the road during bunda.  Never a dull moment

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