Tag Archives: sex trafficking

In 1991 a Nepali man sold his wife to a brothel. Now he will be going to jail for 20 years.

This true and extraordinary story from May 2013 shows the flagrant nature of sex trafficking in Nepal. It also demonstrates the depth and dedication of Maiti Nepal’s legal services. Slowly the tide is turning — impunity is no longer the absolute rule when it comes to familal trafficking cases, and the courts are willing to hear and convict, even when the case is as long ago as this one.

Indian train

From Maiti Nepal’s website—

NEPAL: District court Makawanpur sentences a man to 20 years in prison, convicting him of selling his wife to a brothel in India.

A single bench of district judge Tek Narayan Kunwar handed down the punishment to 53-year-old Man Bahadur Thokar of Tistung for selling his wife to a brothel in India 22 years ago. The court ruled that Thokar pay 300,000 rupees (approximately US $3,300) in reparation to the victim and a 200,000 rupee fine.

According to court registrar Kaushaleshwor Gyawali, two accomplices — Harimaya Gewa of Hetauda and Harkalal Gole of Basamadi are still at large. “As they have fled, their cases are pending,” he said, adding that the court had ordered payment of compensation from the state rehabilitation fund because of the convict’s inability to pay the amount.

Thokar had married the victim, who hails from Nuwakot, in 1991. He pleaded guilty.

“He coaxed me into marriage and took me along with my son to Padam Pokhari at a kin’s house. There, a friend took me to Hetauda to watch a movie saying my husband wouldn’t return as he had gone away taking 50,000 Nepali rupees with him. She gave me a drink and I lost consciousness. When my senses returned, I found myself on a train. Later, I found out I had been sold for 200,000 Indian rupees (about US $3,400) to a brothel in Mumbai,” Gywali quoted the victim.

“It was terrible — sleeping with seven or eight clients every day for 15 years until a person from Gujrat bought me for 23,000 Indian rupees and took me to his home. Five years later, I returned to Nepal to see my son. Upon learning that the so-called husband of mine could be punished, I filed a case against him and other with the help of Maiti Nepal last year.” she said. Acting on FIR, police arrested Thokar on June 17, 2012 in Palung.

Sold at the age of 22, the woman is now 44. She is now staying with her son at Tistung.


Insider’s view of Maiti Nepal’s 20th anniversary

Welcome to “The Heart of the Matter,” our new blog for Friends of Maiti Nepal. The name refers of course to our green heart, but also to our purpose, which is to show you more about Maiti Nepal, to keep you current with our activities, and to share, distill, and clarify news about sex trafficking in Nepal.

Founders of Friends of Maiti Nepal, Brigitte and Joe Collins, have recently returned from several weeks in Kathmandu, working with Anuradha Koirala (founder of Maiti Nepal) and the skilled and loyal staff. They were there also to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Maiti Nepal. We’d like to share with you some comments and reflections from Brigitte and Joe.

Brigitte and Joe in the audience

Brigitte and Joe take their seats with friends and “family” as the music begins.

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dancers in pink - maiti nepal

Maiti’s dance troupe introduces the festivities.

THE 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT MAITI NEPAL was held in the center courtyard of the Rehabilitation Center in Kathmandu. At 5,000 feet above sea level, the landscape is green, the flowers are blooming, and there is a fundamental sense of cleanliness and order at Maiti Nepal.  This is in stark contrast to the constant chaos of traffic and noise just outside the grounds.  Maiti Nepal is a busy place with hundreds of survivors, children and staff— meals, schooling, counseling, play activities. The work is unceasing: emergencies such as the arrival of the police authorities with victims of sex trafficking, the apprehension of traffickers and rescue of girls taken from the hands of traffickers at the airport, all take place night and day, even during the anniversary festivities.

The celebration itself was a well planned, joyous event. Brilliant costumes, bunting, flags and colorful tents added to the festive atmosphere. Performances displayed the resilience of the survivors who danced and sang with brio and artistry.  They enjoyed the staff’s dances and plays, and they laughed, whistled and applauded with gusto. One could see and appreciate the “family” relationship between all, the staff, the survivors, the littlest children. Love and respect was very present. Anuradha danced and sang to the delight of her many children, and spoke passionately as she gratefully acknowledged the support she has received from her loyal staff and donors over these 20 years.

Much of our work at Friends of Maiti Nepal is based in the US as we raise funds and create strategic partnerships to further Maiti Nepal’s work. We spend our lives working for Maiti Nepal and its cause, thinking of the thousands of sex trafficked Nepalese, the survivors, and the little children at Maiti Nepal. So to spend time at Maiti Nepal and be in their midst is such a great privilege. Their radiant smiles are contagious, yet one cannot forget the sadness in their hearts, and the pain they have suffered. One of most amazing things in the precious oasis which is Maiti Nepal, is the fact that most of the staff has an average tenure of over 13 years, some have been with Maiti Nepal for 16 and 18 years. This is a great credit to the leadership of Anuradha, the loyalty she inspires, and the satisfaction that can be found in this important and life-saving work.

Please enjoy the photos as you share with us the festive occasion of Maiti Nepal’s 20th anniversary. Please mouse over the images to see the captions. We welcome your comments.