International Women’s Day: Maiti Nepal Is Ending Female Trafficking

This is a tribute to women on International Women’s Day, women looking after women exhibiting the highest humanity.

I was listening to Anuradh Koirala the founder of Maiti Nepal last night. She informed the audience that the issue of female trafficking in Nepal and India is not about poverty it is a gender issue. In the question time I asked her about the Matrilineal system in Kerala (India) which passes property inheritence through the female line. As a result of this women were regarded with higher respect, they received higher education and they had a better economic opportunities. This State was the only one that reversed the trends of poverty, and was lauded as a economic model for progress in India. I asked her if the Matrilineal system was introduced into Nepal if it would help, she said it would strengthen women. Later on in the evening men were discussing their horror at what they were told. I said to them why not start men’s groups, have men discuss their feelings, to reconnect emotionally, as it seems to me the only way a person can be raped is if the other has no feeling for them. They see them as an object. So helping men face feelings and the shadow of man. I see this for women as well, but the subject of this blog is focussed on women. Moreover, Anuradh Koirala said with funding she could end it completely. So see details at the bottom of the blog for donations or visit her website.

Equality of women and men is really a win/win economically, socially, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and ultimately globally. It is extremely important for balance and survival in the world. The many distortions and discrimination of women only serves to create greater hardship, exploitation and deep unhappiness in the lives of millions of women around the world. Discrimination inhibits the greatness of women from shining and can hold back their progress as equal partners in human civilisation. Their role as care givers and mothers is central to the future generation, if they are treated as second class, then children mirror this and the distortions continue. The term silent desperation comes to mind as many just continue on in very difficult circumstances. the plight of women is a reality today and it is for both men and women to come together to deal with injustices caused through discrimination and lack of understanding to enable girls and women to reach their full potential.

Civilisation at its best will always have women and men holding hands as equals and working out the best future for children and the planet. Rape, discrimination and enslavement of females will not exist in a society firmly grounded in equality, fairness, love and truth.

The subject of this blog is Anuradha Koirala who was inspired by Mother Teresa. She initiated the Maiti Nepal mission to ensure a future for traumatised girls and the betterment of humanity.

Anuradha was awarded with the Manhe Peace Prize.

http://www.maitinepal.org/

Anuradha Koirala

Born in 14 April 1949 to Colonel Pratap Singh Gurung and Laxmi Gurung, Anuradha Koirala was brought up in a family that regarded providing services for humankind as the best form of pious work. She studied in Saint Joseph Convent School Kalimpong, India. At the school, sisters and mother further increased her devotion towards the social work.

For more than twenty years, she taught English at various reputed schools of Kathmandu. Mother Teresa was the biggest source of inspiration to initiate a mission for the betterment of humankind. Therefore , in 1993 Ms. Koirala founded Maiti Nepal with the aim of providing services for both children and women who have endured untold pain and suffering, often in silence. Children ,girls and women were being trafficked within and from Nepal for commercial sexual exploitaion. She set up Maiti Nepal with a vow to put an end to this heinous crime.

After establishing Maiti Nepal, she plunged into the service of humanity. Her first work was setting up of a rehabilitation home so that she could provide a home to those who have nowhere else to turn to. Now, Maiti Nepal has three prevention homes, nine transit homes, two hospices and a high school. More than one thousand children are getting direct services from Maiti Nepal everyday. She made it possible with her firm determination and unprecedented leadership.

Maiti Nepal today conducts a wide range of activities. Conducting awareness campaigns, community Sensitization, rescue operations, Apprehending Traffickers, providing legal support to the needy, women empowerment programmes, providing anti retro viral therapy(ART) to children and women infected BY HIV are regular activities of Maiti Nepal.

So far, Anuradha koirala has been provided 30 national and international award in recognition of her courageous acts and lifetime acheivement furthering the cause of children’s and women’s rights. Some of the international awards includes German UNIFEM Prize 2007, Queen Sofia Silver Medal Award 2007, The Peace Abbey, Courage of Conscience 2006 etc. Her achievements include liberating twelve thousand girls from brothels, providing ART before the government of Nepal could initiate this process. Due to her continuous struggle, Governmment of Nepal recognized anti –trafficking day, which falls on 5 September. This endeavour was initiated by Maiti Nepal. She was also appointed as a state minister as an honour to her contributions.

Ms. Koirala loves spending time with children, they say that they get a warmth of mother and a father. She is self motivated person relishing new and dynamic challenges with a leadership role if required in a team environment or independently.

On 23rd September Ms. Koirala was selected as Top-10 CNN Heros. The global voting through the website of CNN would determine CNN hero of the year. It was the result of her struggle and compassion to fight the social evil of human trafficking , that CNN has recognized her as a TOP 10 Heroes of the world list. This honour to the daughter of Nepal is a Pride for our Nation.

On 25th November 2010 she was declared as CNN Hero of the year through global on line voting . Her victory as a CNN Hero is a pride and honour to the nation itself.

Introduction – Maiti Nepal

MAITI Nepal was born out of a crusade to protect Nepali girls and women from crimes like domestic violence, trafficking for flesh trade, child prostitution, child labor and various forms of exploitation and torture. A group of socially committed professionals like teachers, journalists and social workers together formed Maiti Nepal in 1993 to fight against all the social evils inflicted upon our female populace. Most of all, its special focus has always been on preventing trafficking for forced prostitution, rescuing flesh trade victims and rehabilitating them. This social organisation also actively works to find justice for the victimized lot of girls and women by engaging in criminal investigation and waging legal battles against the criminals. It has highlighted the trafficking issue with its strong advocacy from the local to national and international levels.

Birth of Maiti Nepal

Maiti has no literal translation but it denotes a girl’s real family, where she was born into. The word has a sentimental value especially for a married Nepali woman who has no longer any right towards her parents or their property. She then becomes an outsider belonging solely to her husband and her family forever. The famous song, Maiti ghar timro haina paryi ghar jao–meaning “this is not your home, you belong to an outsider (husband)” says it all.

Maiti Nepal however is home to all women and girls–whether married or not–who are exploited, their rights grossly violated and neglected by family and society likewise. It was a crusade to find such victims a home for their protection from social evils that gave birth to this NGO in November 1993.

It was started by a handful of conscious professionals like teachers, journalists, and social workers committed towards combating the social crimes like domestic violence, girl trafficking, child prostitution, child labour and various forms of female exploitation.

Objectives and target group

Maiti’s focus has always been on prevention of girl trafficking, a burning issue for Nepal. Rescuing girls forced into prostitution and helping to find economic alternatives have been our key struggle. Rehabilitation, although not literally possible especially with former prostitutes, is one major challenge we have accepted in our work. The practical steps would be to counsel them and provide non-formal education on health, laws, basic reading and writing. They are also trained to develop income-generation skills and provided Maiti’s shelter until they are ready to stand on their feet. The sexually abused girls, abandoned children, potential victims of trafficking, destitute women, prisoner’s children, returnees from Indian brothels, girls and children infected with HIV and Hepatitis B, intercepted girls are the major target groups or say, beneficiaries of our programs.

Origin of Maiti

Maiti has no literal translation but it denotes a girl’s real family, where she was born into. The word has a sentimental value especially for a married Nepali woman who has no longer any right towards her parents or their property. She then becomes an outsider belonging solely to her husband and her family forever. The famous song, Maiti ghar timro haina paryi ghar jao–meaning “this is not your home, you belong to an outsider (husband)” says it all.

Maiti Nepal however is home to all women and girls–whether married or not–who are exploited, their rights grossly violated and neglected by family and society likewise. It was a crusade to find such victims a home for their protection from social evils that gave birth to this NGO in November 1993.

Recent Updates

Rebeka gets justice! Trafficker convicted with 20 years of imprisonment and two hundred thousand rupees fine

Kathmandu district court convicted Purna Tamang, a permanent resident of Sindhupalchowk district with 20 years of rigorous jail terms and two hundred thousand rupees fine on 20 December, 2011. He, along with his father Bahadur Tamang and another woman named Bhima Tamang were involved in trafficking Rebeka( name changed) to Pill house, Mumbai for sexual exploitation. Rebeka underwent through series of barbaric tortures and inhumane inflictions in the brothel for about 10 months. She recounts her heinous sufferings and the ill fated story as such –

Me and my parents had migrated from Western Terai of Nepal to Harsil, Uttarkashi district India ten years ago, in pursut of job.. My father died in India and after the breadwinner’s demise, we didn’t get enough to eat and clothe . I pursued the job of stone crushing and sometimes worked as housemaid as an alternative to survive. In course of job, I became acquainted with Bhima Tamang and within a short span of time we became so close that I started sharing my hurdles and ordeals with her. Bhima heard all my story and told me that her brother Purna Tamang , who lived in Simla, could help me. She said, Purna had seen me earlier and he liked me. He would marry me and take away all my agonies.

Then onwards, Purna came to Harsil and started living near our area. He enticed me with colourful assurances of a better life. He proposed me to go to Mumbai and start a new life. After series of his repeated persuasion, I was ready to go with him. Bhima and Purna’s father accompanied us. We headed to Mumbai via Delhi and Haridwar. He suggested me to cover my face with handkerchief, so that nobody would recognize me on the way. We reached Mumbai at 12 pm the following day . That night we sheltered in Amritnagar in a rented room of one of his relatives. After two days, Purna took me to Pillhouse ( I knew later) and introduced me to a woman whom he called sister. He told me , he would go out to find job somewhere, and until then I had to keep myself neat and tidy by taking showers. Then, the woman named Urmila took me to room number 31 of the building. I was shocked to see many other girls, kept like captives in the same room. I asked her what type of place that was and where Purna Tamang had gone.. She replied Purna had sold me in IC 40,000 and I had to go into prostitution. I cried, begged and refused for the first 10 days. But I was starved, beaten and gang raped. I was shattered and pulverized and I had to live in the hell for about ten more months, until the Indian police raided the brothel. After being rescued, I was handed over to rescue foundation . Rescue foundation later gave my custody to Maiti Nepal’ s Transit Home Bhairahawa. Maiti Nepal Bhairahawa referred me to Maiti Nepal. Gaushala , Kathmandu. I filed human trafficking case against Purna Tamang and his accomplices as per the advices of the lawyers. Now I am happy that the devil has been convicted.

Donation

Telex Transfer Details
STANDERED CHARTERED BANK NEPAL LIMITED
KATHMANDU
NEPAL

SWIFT CODE: SCBLNPKA

NAME OF BENEFICIARIES: MAITI NEPAL
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 01-0184012-10

Correspondence Bank:
Standard Chartered Bank
One Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010-3603
Swift Code:SCBLUS33
A/C No:382077422001

Note:
Please provide us your email address so that we can acknowledge your contribution and let you know that we received your invaluable donation.

Leave a Reply

Mohandas Gandhi

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Archives
Categories