Anuradha Koirala is a social activist from Nepal. She has helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 victims of sex trafficking. She has also prevented over 45,000 children and women from being trafficked. A former English teacher, Anuradha started Maiti Nepal in a small house in Kathmandu with her own savings when she was deeply distressed by the condition of girls and women who were sold to brothels in India.
Today her organization, Maiti Nepal, patrols the Indo-Nepal border with the help from local police, rescues trafficked women from brothels in India with the help of Indian authorities and helps rescued women reunite with their families.
The US State Department reports that each year more than 10,000 women and girls are trafficked from Nepal to India and then sexually exploited. According to CNN, one such girl Anuradha has helped rehabilitate is Geeta. Geeta was nine when she began wearing makeup, staying up all night, and having sex with as many as 60 men a day. She was rescued at the age of 14 and has since been staying in a safe house compound run by Maiti Nepal trying to find meaning in her life. Anuradha has nothing but open arms to offer. For her courage and exemplary work, she won the CNN Hero of the Year award in 2010.
Anuradha’s work is difficult and challenging. She gets death threats daily, but she doesn’t care. Even in her late 60s, she continues to fight the social evil with the same ferociousness she once did. In an interview with Equality Now, she said, “Survivors’ needs are complex and multiple. Many survivors come back home in a traumatized state, the prevalence of STDs and HIV among them is also quite high. Some survivors are infected by Multiple Drug Resistance Tuberculosis and due to this rehabilitation is difficult and complicated. Despite being globally recognized, getting funds for anti-trafficking projects continues to be extremely difficult.”
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