Anuradha Koirala

Anuradha Koirala: Maiti Nepal's founder, director and guiding force.

Ms. Anuradha Koirala is the Founder and Executive Director of Maiti Nepal. Born in Nepal and former English teacher, Ms. Koirala started Maiti Nepal in a small house in Kathmandu with her own savings. Today she is a widely recognized activist and lecturer who has dedicated her life to combating the sexual exploitation of women and children.

Anuradha Koirala accepts the 2010 CNN Heroes Award

Her accomplishments have been recognized through numerous awards. Her work is often dangerous and requires great personal sacrifice. The criminal elements that "deliver" young girls are a ruthless enemy and have political connections at the highest levels in India and Nepal. Maiti Nepal's main office in Kathmandu has been destroyed twice and Maiti workers must travel with a bodyguard when overseeing rescue missions in India.

Her commitment has been an inspiration to her largely volunteer staff. Most of the workers are rescued girls and young women who are healthy enough to work. "They need little incentive from me," states Ms Koirala. "They are working to help their sisters and they know the horror of the victims." She adds, "Society rejects me and my girls, but they are the most important thing in my life."

Listen to a talk by Anuradha Koirala given in May 2011 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Download: MP3 (21.9MB)