At the border of Nepal-India, Karuna's job is to watch for suspicious passerbys. She works for our nonprofit partner. Karuna has an important job. She boldly approaches probable victims of human trafficking - a rampant problem in Nepal. Here's an actual dialogue with a girl named Divya.
Karuna: Excuse me, please wait a moment. Where are you going?
Karuna: India? How old are you?
Karuna: Who are you traveling with? What is your name? Would you like to come with me for a minute?
The two women walk into a wooden shaft, that is the counseling room.
Karuna: That’s a pretty dress, who bought it for you?
Divya: I just got it.
Karuna: Your mom buys you nice clothes.
Divya: Auntie bought it.
Karuna: Oh, your auntie is traveling with you? Why is she not with you? How long have you known your auntie? Did any strangers visit with you on your journey? Do you know your auntie's name?
Divya is unable to answer.
Karuna: Where you are going is not where you will end up. I know, because I have been through the same thing. Come with me, I will take you to a safe place.
That day, Divya was taken to a safe home. They later found out that Auntie was not a registered person in Nepal. Yet, Divya’s journey to the border came with abuse along the way and psychological manipulation from Auntie. The traffickers deceived and bribed Divya’s parents to take her into India for a better future. But today, Divya is happy to be back at home and in school.
Karuna is a staff member of Our Daughters International, and she counsels roughly 550 potential trafficking victims per year. Karuna herself once was a victim to an “Auntie.” She was treated like a commodity for a long time until she was able to escape.
Karuna’s story is now her ministry. She is a graduate of the Social Leadership School of Our Daughters International, and is more than an overcomer – she is a daughter, and a leader!
*Names have been changed.