The Indentured Daughters Program | Freeing Nepali Girls
In their Own Words – Rescued Girls Share Their Experiences
Here is a poem written by Sumitra Chaudhari, one of the girls in our program. At age nine, Sumitra was sold by her poor family into indentured servitude far from home. Her father was paid $40 for a year of her labor, but she received nothing. Now Sumitra lives with her family and goes to school. In the local dialect, the poem she wrote is more poetic than the rough English translation, but we share her poem – and her hope – with you:
Father, I beg you
Let me go to school
Father, and my mother
I join my ten fingers
Don’t send us to work
For the landlords
Though we are daughters
We are your children
No high caste and low caste
No rich and poor
We are all equal
Let us walk in a good path
Make your children’s future bright
Kamala Chaudhary was sent off to work at a young age because of the poverty of her family. Here is how she describes her experience:
“Since my father is an old man and could not work and there are many mouths to feed in house, my parents decided to send me to work for our landlord in my village… I had to work from dawn to late at night, left over food is my part of meal and sometimes I had to sleep with empty stomach. With lots of trouble I spent a year in that place and returned home to celebrate Maghi. After the festival my master came to fetch me up. Since the economic condition of my house was not good I reluctantly went with my master…
“Another Maghi approached. With the decision of my parents, I was sold for 6000 Rupees (about $83). My uncle took me to Kathmandu. I had never been to Kathmandu before. Everything was new and uncanny for me. Sad days returned once again. I had to work hard. On top of that the remembrance of my parents made me sad. I used to cry in despair and request my landlord to send me home. But nobody listened to me.
“When I returned to my village (for Maghe) I came to know about NYF. As I was interested to study I talked to my parents and brief them about NYF. They gave me the permission to enroll in (the)… program and my wish to go to school has been fulfilled. I am a student of class five studying in Narti School. My aim in life is to be a teacher. To eradicate this inhuman practice is the mission of my life.”
It took only $100 to rescue each of these children from virtual slavery, bring them home to live with their families, and give each family a piglet or goat as compensation for the lost wages. That’s more “bang for the buck” than you will get from almost any charitable donation.
But there are many more daughters to be saved from bondage, and we need to build schools so the girls we have liberated can be educated.
We want to put the labor contractors out of business. Read on to learn how we plan to do this.