Donna MacAllister

Kathmandu, January 29:

Forty women freed from India’s sex industry are trying to stop others who are unknowingly on their way to sexual slavery.

The ‘border girls’, who were rescued by Maiti Nepal are conducting surveillance along the border, on the look-out for women being unwittingly lured.

According to the organisation, they have so far saved as many as 3,000 women from being sold in India.

“Since these woman can recognise the girls who are being trafficked better than anyone else, they are perfect for the job,” said Maiti Nepal’s information officer, Sarita Banskota.

“Those who make their living by selling innocent girls in brothels use different tricks to persuade them,” said Sarita.

That’s what happened to Saraswati Nepali. For three years, she was held captive in an Indian brothel after being lied to by someone she trusted.

“My father was a cancer patient and we had no money. As I had to do something to help him, I went to Narayanghat to find a job. There I met a man who was very sympathetic. He suggested that I go to Birgunj with him to buy clothes for sale. He promised to give me 5,000 rupees and take me back after three days’”.

But, instead of making money to help her dying father, Saraswati was “sold like an animal”.

“Every second in India was the worst part of my life.”

It was only when representatives of the Maiti Nepal came to the brothel with Indian police three years later that she was able to “escape from hell”.