She rescued 12000 women from traffickers. Receives Padma Shri.
When life throws stones at you and you are wounded, if you gather strength not just to heal the wound but also to save others from getting wounded, then you are an epitome of service.
Anuradha Koirala suffered domestic abuse in the hands of her husband for years. She had three miscarriages that brought her marriage to an end. But this end paved way for new beginnings. She started with teaching in various schools in Kathmandu. Being a victim of domestic violence herself, she could relate and empathise with the women who shared similar stories. From there, her journey started where she started working for the cause of abused women and children, victims of domestic violence, and child trafficking. Let's know more about Padma Shri Anuradha Koirala and her outstanding contribution in rescuing more than 12,000 girls from the clutches of sex trafficking.
Drawn Towards Service As A Child:
Born on 14th April 1949 to Colonel Pratap Singh Gurung and Laxmi Gurung, Anuradha Koirala received her education at St.Joseph's Convent School in Kalimpong, India. According to her parents, humanitarian services is the best form of holy work. While Mother Teresa has always been her greatest inspiration, the Mother and Sisters at the school also played a vital role in shaping the service-oriented mind of Anuradha.
Once her marriage broke, she started spending her life teaching at various schools around Khatmandu. This brought her immense satisfaction but she somewhere in the deep of her heart, felt that she has a bigger personal calling to attend.
Birth Of A Mother With A Home For Rescued Children:
Anuradha was deeply moved by the plight of children, girls and women being trafficked within and from Nepal for commercial sexual exploitation. However, she realised that she needs more facilities to cater to the displaced women's needs. Thus she set up a bigger institution with the help of teachers, journalists and social workers in 1993 and it is named as Maiti Nepal. The vision of Maiti Nepal is to provide services to the rescued women and children who have gone through immense pain and suffering. 'Maiti' means "Mother's home" in Nepalese and stands very apt for the institution as this NGO helps Nepali girls and women who have been the victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, child prostitution, child labour, etc. and provides them home. Anuradha, who couldn't have children of her own, became a mother to numerous children. With her dedication and desire to help the destitute women and children, she brought home close to 12000 helpless souls and gave them new life.
“What would you do if your daughter was standing in a similar position? You have to join hands. Take each child as your daughter.”, says Anuradha. She treats all the rescued women and girls as her own children. She established three prevention homes, nine transit homes, two hospices and a high school.
The Journey Wasn't As Easy As It Was Written:
Anuradha's life always faced threats from human traffickers. With deep connections both in Nepal and India, these criminals posed a severe threat to Anuradha's journey that she literally fought like a warrior queen to head forward but never took her foot back. More than the trouble she faced from the wrong-doers, trouble came in building trust and confidence in the women she rescued. After going through a lot from their close ones and family, these women started living in mistrust of everyone else around them. They are wounded physically, emotionally and psychologically. They weren't even ready to talk about their pain and sufferings but at Maiti, they are not hurried. They are given food, shelter and health care. Slowly, these women start accepting Maiti as their home. After rehabilitation, for those who were not accepted by their families, Maiti becomes their permanent home. Maiti also serves women and offers them empowerment programs to make them self-sufficient. Women and kids affected by HIV are provided with AR therapy.
Her dedication to fighting against trafficking was recognised by the Government of Nepal and it has declared September 5th as Anti-Trafficking Day. Also, in recognition of her work, she has received more than 30 national and international awards. In 2010, she was voted online globally for the CNN Top Heroes Award. She has received a total amount of US$ 100000 to continue her work in Maiti Nepal. She also received USD 25,000 as a token of appreciation from CNN. In 2014, she was honoured with the Mother Teresa Award. Anuradha Koirala won the Padma Shri Award in 2017.
Our team shows this 71-year-old epitome of kindness as an inspiration to all for her service motive and generous heart.
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