mother-teresa-of-nepal-has-rescued-18000-sex-trafficking-victims

Anita Shrestha
Posted October 7, 2019 from Nepal
Anuradha Koirala
Anuradha Koirala

https://truththeory.com/2019/10/01/

The-mother-teresa-of-nepal-has-rescued-18000-sex-trafficking-victims/In the 1990s, Nepali native Anuradha Koirala would walk by Kathmandu’s Pashupatinath Temple every morning. And every morning she would meet the women who were begging on those streets. When she struck up a conversation with them, she realized that they were all survivors of gender-based violence. This hit home, because she had dealt with the physical and emotional trauma at the hands of an abusive ex-husband. That moment of connection is what set her on the path to becoming Nepal’s Mother Teresa. 

Koirala grew up with the teachings of Mother Teresa and knew that her purpose in life was to be in service of the needy. In the 1990s, she had already been working as a teacher for 20 years. But she then decided to step into a more substantial role of protecting vulnerable women and children. 

She started only with 8 women, whom she educated about women’s empowerment and encouraged them to stop begging. But her work quickly grew. By 1993, she founded the non-profit Maiti Nepal and focused her attention on a massive problem in Nepal: sex trafficking. 

Also read: Free Legal Advice Line For Woman Who Are Sexually Harassed At Work Launched By Emma Watson

The high rates of poverty and illiteracy in the country made it feeding grounds for traffickers. They would show families the dreams of employment or money while hiding the gruesome reality of sex trafficking from them. Girls and women would thus be taken from underprivileged sections of Nepal and sold into sex slavery in India. Koirala devised a way to start rescuing these women. 

Her intervention is more than necessary. The 1,750km border between Nepal and India is open and porous. Reports have shown that human trafficking across that border has risen by 500% since 2013, with more than 23,000 women and girls trafficked in 2016 alone. NGOs in the field estimate that that number could quickly rise to 40,000 in another year. 

Maiti Nepal works with their local law enforcement to rescue operations across 26 different points on the India-Nepal Border. It also runs 11 transit homes that shelter recently trafficked women, as their families shun most. The scope of the organization’s also expanded over the years: now it runs awareness campaigns, empowerment programs, and vocational training initiatives for survivors. 

Koirala wants to ensure that these women can lead independent, productive lives in society. To that effect, the organization employs former victims to conduct searches at border transit points and has trained them to identify possible trafficking victims. It has recently also started a cafe in Kathmandu where previous victims act as cashiers, chefs, and waitresses. 

Maiti Nepal also runs three prevention homes for at-risk girls to educate them about trafficking’s dangers. It caters to over 1,000 children, running two hospices for children and women with HIV/AIDs, and one school. Koirala has also helped catch trafficking criminals, assisting in the prosecution of more than 700 traffickers. 

Truth Theory is on Instagram, make sure you follow us for all the cool updates, click here

Koirala has won 38 national as well as international awards for her work, including India’s prestigious civilian award, the Padma Shri, and CNN’s Hero of the Year in 2010. Over the years, Maiti Nepal has rescued more than 18,000 women and children. Today, at the age of 70, Nepal’s Mother Teresa continues working relentlessly for this cause and does not plan to give up anytime soon.

Image Credit: Nirmal Dulal & Anik Shrestha

This story was submitted in response to GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.

Comments 10

Log in or register to post comments

Hello, sister Anita,

This is such an inspiring post about Anuradha Koirala, Nepal's Mother Teresa. Human trafficking is also an on-going social issue in the Philippines. To rescue one girl or woman from trafficking is already a heroic act, but to rescue 18,000, wow, that's a superhero. :)

Thank you for sharing this. :)

Anita Shrestha
Oct 08
Oct 08

Thank you dear

You're welcome, dear sister. :)

Jill Langhus
Oct 09
Oct 09

Hello Dear Anita,

How are you doing, dear? I love this inspiring so much. I'm very passionate about anti-trafficking/slavery. This woman and her organization are amazing. I've been following her for awhile but I didn't know all the staggering stats. Are you also passionate about anti-trafficking? Do you know someone that works for Maiti Nepal? Thanks so much for sharing and spreading awareness on this prevalent challenge.

Hope you're doing well, and having a great day!

XX

Anita Shrestha
Oct 09
Oct 09

Dear
I know only her.

Jill Langhus
Oct 09
Oct 09

Oh, wow! That's incredible! What an honor.

Can you coax her to join WP and to share her lovely wisdom, work, and wonderful stories with us? It would be such an honor. I've looked for her on LinkedIn, too, and I don't think she's on there. Do you know? I would love to work with her the future. It would be amazing.

Anita Shrestha
Oct 09
Oct 09

Dear Jii
Thank you very much. Now it is very difficult to meet her because she has very busy schedule as well as great political appointment. Anyway, if I contact her, I will let you know.

Jill Langhus
Oct 10
Oct 10

Hi Anita,

You're very welcome!

I bet!!!

Thank you so much!!

XX

Anita Shrestha
Oct 10
Oct 10

Welcome dear

Jill Langhus
Oct 10
Oct 10

:-)