Social activist and founder of Maiti Nepal, Anuradha Koirala was awarded the Padma Shri award for rescuing over 12,000 girls from trafficking. She has also prevented over 45,000 women from being trafficked across the border of India and Nepal.
She was born in West Bengal, but spent most of her life in Nepal. Before becoming a social activist, she worked as a teacher in Kathmandu.
She established a shelter home in 1993 for women who had been trafficked so that they could receive material help as well as psychological counselling. Her organisation, Maiti Nepal, runs three prevention homes, 11 transit homes, two hospices, and a school.
Maiti Nepal runs awareness and counselling programmes and rehabilitation programmes. It also runs a school, provide Antiretroviral treatment for HIV patients, and provides training courses in hotel management, tailoring, computer skills, among others.
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In 2010, Koirala was a CNN hero and she was later presented with a Mother Teresa Award in 2014.
Before becoming the renowned social activist she is today, Koirala got married at the age of 19 to someone outside of her caste, against her family’s wishes. A few years later, her marriage failed. She describes this as a turning point in her life.
Statistics provided on Maiti Nepal’s website reveal that 12,000 Nepali girls are trafficked into India yearly. In 2016, Maiti Nepal intercepted 5,726 girls at the Indo-Nepal border.
In a Facebook post, Anuradha Koirala writes, “No matter if I am alive or not, the problem will continue and Maiti Nepal must go on even after me. Maiti Nepal is NOT Anuradha Koirala, Maiti Nepal is an idea, and ideas must never die.”
Originally published by: ShethePeople