Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Plight of Nepalese Girls Abducted and Forced into Prostitution

It is difficult to go into many details about what the girls in Nepal who are abducted face. A lot of Christians simply don’t want to hear those horrific stories.

So much of Nepal is remote (no electricity, phones, education, or money, etc.). Villagers try and grow enough food on their land and hope it will be enough to feed themselves and their kids. Unfortunately, male children are esteemed more than girls throughout Nepalese society. This is mainly due to Hinduism because for the parents to find “salvation” after death, they need a “son” to perform their last rites. Their daughters, on the other hand, will belong to her husband’s family once she’s married (the literal word they use for this is “property” in Nepali: Girls become the property of the husband’s family). The man doesn’t leave his father’s house but stays at his father’s house with his wife. Daughter-in-laws, though clearly mistreated and forced to do all the household chores, seem to be held in higher esteem than daughters because daughters just cost them for the most part (e.g. dalry, wedding expenses, no help toward the parents’ salvation, etc). Daughters end up leaving the home and helping the husband’s family. All that is to say, ignorant parents (of which there are countless throughout Nepal) don’t see the need to educate their daughters or do anything for their daughters’ future. Often, the girls are “lent” for a year at a time (for the parents to get money of course!) to work as housekeepers for middleclass and rich people in the cities of Nepal, especially in Kathmandu. This while usually legitimate in the sense that they are not being sold into prostitution (though their bosses do sometimes take advantage of them) is still a form of slavery. Years ago I mentioned to friends back home about two girls (one was 11 the other 13 at the time) who were the housekeepers at the landlord’s flat where we had an apartment. The girls were sold to him for money to work for a year and then he would have to pay the parents again or give them back (moreover, the landlord tried to talk my wife and I into getting a girl to work for us because they can be bought quite cheap). The girls at the landlord’s flat didn’t get any schooling during the whole time; nor did the landlord give them any pocket money. They didn’t even get their own room to sleep in. They slept on the kitchen floor and worked from 5am in morning till 11pm at night or later. Nevertheless, these girls are lucky compared to the plight of so many other girls in Nepal.

With ignorant villagers seeing their daughters as a liability, when unscrupulous Indians come to these remote villages promising that they have good jobs for their daughters in India where they will be able to make money for their family (and they give the parents a sum of money in advance: maybe $50 to $100, which seems like a huge amount of money to the parents of the girls), the parents immediately send their daughters off with the Indian men. This happens to 10,000+ Nepalese girls every year. The parents don’t even consider what could happen to their daughters. The girls who once were thought of as a liability (The family not having much money themselves for food and always having to feed these daughters who will eventually leave the home anyway), now, instead of their daughters being a liability, they can actually profit the family, plus, with the girls gone, less food is required to feed the household.

So the young girls are sent by their parents with strangers “for a better life”. And now these poor, virgin girls, who previously wouldn’t even make eye-contact with men, who have never even held a man’s hand, or been far from home before, are whisked off to a strange, faraway city and are now forced to have sex with often 20 men a day! And I’m not kidding about the number of times. Think of it this way: India has five times as many people as there are in America, and yet India is only 1/3 the size of America. That means for every one America there are literally 15 Indians occupying the same amount of space. And this number greatly increases in the cities, where most of the Indians have to go if they want to try and make a living. Cities like Mumbai (Bombay) are so overcrowded the people are like insects; there are so many people. Now try to imagine the daily, endless line of evil Indian men (who have left their own wives in their villages and come to the city to make money) visiting these brothels to have sex with these Nepali girls. And it is the Nepali girls that they seek out and like most because the skin of Nepali girls is much fairer than that of most Indians. Fair skin is thought of as much more beautiful than darker skin in India and Nepal, and that’s what the men like in women (plus Nepali people are exceptionally beautiful people overall any way).

So these innocent Nepali girls (mere children) are forced to have sex, often with 20 men a day. They still are not given an education or any pocket money, but they are given all sorts of diseases. In fact, there is a widespread myth in India that if you have AIDS or some other STD then you should have sex with a young girl. Somehow the purity of young girls is supposed to heal you of your diseases. For that reason too the abductions often happen to girls just nine or 10 years of age, as well as young teens. Of course, eventually the abuse these girls receive (many times they live in windowless rooms half the size of a prison cell, and that is where they stay from morning till night) takes its toll, they lose some of their beauty, become less profitable, and eventually they are discarded like trash. But before that day comes (which eventually through disease, physical abuse, forced abortions, etc. is bound to come) they are forced to do every type of sex act imaginable and are beat and burned if they refuse to do anything they’re told to do. The girls don’t see the money of course and it’s not much money to begin with any way. Most men in India are not wealthy, so these girls are sold for sex for the same price you can buy a cheeseburger for in the USA, which is also why they are forced to have sex so many times each day, seven days a week; otherwise, the profit margin is not that high for their masters.

There are roughly 200,000 Nepali girls in Indian brothels today. Both India’s and Nepal’s governments know all about this and know about the many thousands of abductions each year, too, but are doing nothing about it. The very few girls who do get rescued (probably 90% of which have AIDS when they are rescued) are usually not accepted back by their families (even though it wasn’t the girls’ fault. The fact that they were having sex and are now diseased makes parents want nothing to do with them because of the bad reputation it will give the family in their community). So they are considered dead to the family, rejected by society, and the girls often just long for their own deaths to come, to end their misery.

There are other issues too, for example: There are some people groups in Nepal where the warped religion of Hinduism considers the girls born into that people group “a prostitution caste”, so those girls don’t even have to be taken away to India. They are forced to work as sex workers to truck drivers, etc. right in their own communities. It is their “fate”, probably because of sins in their past lives, it’s thought. This is also why so few people have compassion for the girls who are abducted, raped and forced into prostitution: “They must have done something terribly wrong in a past life to deserve it.” is the common sentiment of many Hindus.
I’ve only given the details of the girls abducted in Nepal and forced into prostitution. I could speak about the children being purposely deformed to make them pitiful beggars. That movie “Slumdog Millionaire” really shows some graphic and true details of the lot of so many children, both here in Nepal and in India (though this is especially prevalent in India). Nepali girls are stolen away and made to become prostitutes because of their ignorant parents (making them easy prey), their light skin, their good looks, sometimes their caste, and because both the Nepalese as well as the Indian governments turn a blind eye to the atrocities. Police will raid Indian brothels sometimes, but rarely ever to rescue the girls. They do it to get “a cut” of the profits! However, since you don’t need beauty and light skin to be a beggar, Indian children suffer the burning, amputation and are purposely deformed the most, to be made into profitable beggars. And Nepalese girls are by far the most targeted to be forced into prostitution.

If it were up to me I would call down fire from Heaven to destroy every person who is responsible for these horrific acts—taking away the innocence of so many poor children.

Please do pray for the kids who are suffering right this minute by the atrocities I’ve mentioned above. Please pray for God to hear from Heaven and rescue them, these precious children who have really been orphaned by their families.

“You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” (Exodus 22:22-24)

“And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness…. Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans” (Malachi 3:5)