This is 18-year-old Praja. She lives with her parents in a small village in southeastern Nepal, near the border with India. Like many girls in the area, Praja attended school for only a few years. She left after third grade.
A few months ago, a handsome man came to her village and offered to walk with Praja into town. He was charming and bragged about traveling and working in the big cities of Mumbai and Katmandu. She was flattered, and they walked together several times. He even took her shopping for clothes. Once he had gained her trust, he asked if Praja would like to go to the city on his motorcycle. She readily agreed.
Her parents had no idea this was happening.
The man, who was 36 years old, tried to take Praja over the border into India. Fortunately, they were stopped by monitors at one of Plan International’s border check-point booths. They knew right away that this was a bad situation. They also knew that if Praja crossed the border, she would be lost forever in the world of child trafficking.
Plan’s staff were able to reunite Praja with her family. The man who tried to abduct her was handed over to the local police.
Now, Praja is safe at home with her parents. She is receiving counseling through Plan to help her cope with the trauma she has suffered. And, instead of spending her days roaming the streets, she has enrolled in a sewing course through Plan’s Action Against Child Trafficking project, which is funded by donors in the U.S.
Praja works hard and she loves learning to sew.
An estimated 11,000 girls like Praja are trafficked every year from Nepal to India and other countries. Three districts that lie close to the border of India—Banke, Sunsari, and Rautahat—are especially vulnerable.
The AACT project targets high-risk, heavy-transit areas in the border region between Nepal and India. With donor support, Plan has implemented border monitoring projects and educated families and community members about the risks and realities of trafficking.