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Anuradha Koirala: The heroine of subjugated Nepali women
If someone wants to know Anuradha Koirala, he has to study the activities of Maiti Nepali. It is an organization fighting to end women trafficking in Nepal.The organization is at the forefront in rescuing and rehabilitating victims of trafficking.
RECENTLY A leading news channel selected Anuradha Koirala, a Nepali activist, as one of its top ten heroes. Sometimes the name Anuradha Koirala may be unfamiliar to Indians. When someone says the name Anuradha Koirala-the organisation Maiti Nepal comes up to the mind of a common Nepali.
The objective of this article is to introduce Anuradha Koirala and her activities to the unknown masses in the world. Who is Anuradha Koirala? What is Maiti Nepal?  Why did the channel recognise her as a great hero? Let us have an in depth journey into the world of Maiti Nepal.
If someone wants to know Anuradha, he has to study the activities of Maiti Nepali. It is an organisation fighting to end women trafficking in Nepal. Anuradha started Maiti Nepal in 1993 with two rooms. After 17 years Maiti Nepal has an outreach across 29 districts of Nepal, and also a worldwide network of supporters.
The organisation is in the forefront in rescuing and rehabilitating victims of trafficking. It has rescued over 12,000 girls so far, including 12 girls from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia recently. The leading news channel recognised Koirala's contribution to combat trafficking by choosing her as one of its top 10 heroes of 2010. The program is an effort to honour people those who have made a praiseworthy contribution in fighting against such abhorrent activities.
The menace of trafficking has been a serious problem in Nepal for several years. During the 1990s domestic violence and trafficking was at its peak. Anuradha, a school teacher upholding the values of humanity, decided to fight against this evil. This paved the way for Maiti Nepal in 1993. By using her income she initially helped some women, victims of domestic violence, to start a new life. This initiative, eventually earned support from the UNICEF. Subsequently with the support of several personalities from various strata of the society Maiti Nepal was born.
As a result of the splendid campaign and actions by Maiti Nepal, trafficking turned out to be an issue in the public eye. The approach towards trafficking and its victims has altered. The ruling class considers this a critical issue. Political parties have at least included combating trafficking as part of their agenda. Another major development is that the government has endorsed 5 September as anti-trafficking day in Nepal. Those, who are involved in trafficking, are convicted; Maiti Nepal alone has helped convict 496 traffickers.

For rehabilitation, Maiti Nepal is generating employment opportunities and training programmes for girls. The organisation is of the view that, when it comes to society, it has nothing to say if the girl is economically empowered.

Social scientists are of the opinion that trafficking takes place because of lack of education and employment opportunities. Education is still not free in the villages and as a parent one sees more value in educating the son rather than the daughter. The government has to make education free and compulsory, fining those who don't educate their children. Then the government can develop life skill training to address the problem of unemployment. The organisations fighting for these have so many limitations. Only the government would be able to root out this menace completely. If the Nepali society searches out a stable and responsible government then the movements lead by activists like Anuradha would be a great success.
Regarding the award, Anuradha shared her ultimate goal with a Nepali newspaper. She said, “My wish is to shut Maiti Nepal as soon as possible because it will mean that trafficking has been completely stamped out in Nepal. The day I can close down Maiti Nepal will be my happiest day.” Let us stand up with Anuradha Koirala, the lady superstar of the Himalayan country.

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