Anuradha Koirala – The woman who fights human trafficking in Nepal and beyond

"I want a society free of human trafficking," says Anuradha Koirala, the founder of Maiti Nepal. This is a shelter and home for Nepali girls and women who are victims of domestic violence, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Having started Maiti Nepal 20 years ago, in a small house in Kathmandu with her own savings, today Koirala is a widely recognized activist and lecturer who has dedicated her life to combating the trafficking and exploitation of women and children.

Through her organization, the former teacher and daughter of an Indian Army Officer has helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali girls and prevent 45,000 children and women from being trafficked at the Indian-Nepal border since 1993. Hundreds of offenders have been sentenced to jail through the joint efforts of Maiti Nepal and the police.

Loosely translated, Maiti means “mother’s home”. It is a safe haven for those girls and women who have been rescued from brothels or taken from traffickers during the daily patrols at crossing points along the India-Nepal border. Most of them are traumatized and will receive psychological and medical treatment. Some girls are able to return to their families while others become socially stigmatized due to their work as prostitutes, particularly if they are infected by HIV/AIDS. These girls will stay at Maiti Nepal, go to school and later work there. Maiti’s ultimate goal is to help the girls and women become economically independent and reintegrate them into society.

Despite the danger they encounter in their work, many of the rescued young women decide to join Anuradha Koirala in her fight against human trafficking. They go out to the villages and run awareness campaigns to educate women and girls about the tricks used by traffickers. These well-dressed, friendly men promise a great job in the city, but then sell them as prostitutes or unpaid maids.

In 2010, Anuradha Koirala was voted CNN Hero of the Year to honor her tremendous work and tireless efforts in her fight against human trafficking. To the victims at Maiti Nepal, she is a friend, a sister, a mother – and she fills these roles with all her heart.

“Just imagine what would happen if your daughter was standing there. What would you do, how would you fight? So you have to join hands, you have to take each child as your daughter. Soon you will feel their sorrow and then you will feel the strength that comes out of you to protect them.” – Interview with Anuradha Koirala, part of the video showing her work and Maiti Nepal at the of the CNN Hero 2010 award ceremony.


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  1. pakistan property

    I love what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and exposure!
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  2. RBS-Administrator, Roland Berger Stiftung

    Dear Daujal Zoll,
    we’re glad that you are so excited about Anuradha Koirala’s commitment. You can donate on the following homepage:

  3. Akbar Sami

    Salutes to you and your entire team… if we had a few more living angels like you..this world would be a better place to live in. all my prayers and love for you.

  4. Dazjal Zoll

    You are an angel with many angels working with you. If i can volunteer or help in anyway. Please let me know! I can teach skype guitar or vocal lessons for free. I can mail clothing and make up. please how do i donate?

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  9. Shrijana Adhikari

    need more such awareness program in Nepal about discrimination and women education and their improvement. We want many Anuradha Koirala for the better society and its development.

  10. Santana Cazorla

    Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  11. mamata bhandari

    great contribution mum

  12. Uddav Tamang

    You are the one and only Mother in the etire world, Who have never feel tire to look after her child.

    Good luck Anuradha didi.

  13. B. Bhattarai

    She is the mother of Nepalese..

  14. Bikash

    Thanks a lot John Smith. What he has revealed is alarming and the govt should take action against Rohit KC.

  15. Khagendra Ghale

    I am really thankful from the bottom of my heart for all your works human traffic in Nepal and Beyond thank you so much sister looking forward to see you in near future.

  16. John Smith

    My experience below reveals a sad aspect of the Nepali Dance Club girl’s lives…

    I was in Kathmandu with some friends about 2 months ago. One of our friends talked us into visiting the local dance bars in Sundara area as he had heard some good reviews from his local friends.

    Reached in the club near 10 PM, and was surprised to see very few customers and but there were too many dance girls around— unusual for a small club like that. We ordered a couple of beers and ordered a bottle of wine for girls who sat with us. I noticed two Asian blokes in their 40’s who were sitting in some “special corner” with a man who the girl told me was the owner of the club. The thing that made me concentrate on those guys was that a lot of girls in glamorous clothing were going their one by one sitting with them and talking with them for 5 minutes then a new girl will come. Surprisingly, most of these girls were not going to back stage (called green room like dance girls in the bar) rather they were leaving the club— After I could not hold the curiosity, I asked the girl sitting with us about what was happening in the corner. She revealed that those two guys are owners of dance clubs in Dubai and they are here in this club for recruiting new girls for their clubs in Dubai and the owner of this club (later revealed to be Rohit KC) is a famous agent who arranges suitable young Nepali girls depending upon the needs of foreign bosses and will then arrange for the selected girls, after audition (will be arranged later in a private place) , to travel abroad. She told me that Rohit will take half salary from these girls and will take commission from these girls as well and will arrange Immigration By-Pass for them.

    When asked what is immigration bypass, she revealed that rules in Nepal are very strict about Nepali girls to travel outside Nepal for dance bar jobs as there have been many cases when these girls were forcefully involved in sex-trade in Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries in Africa, so the Nepali Government is not allowing any such girl to leave Nepal so some of the agents (with good connections) are trying to send out these girls to their bosses abroad through India and they take extra money for these tasks as immigrations officials in India and Nepal are also involved and will take their share.

    When these Asian bosses left, I sat with the owner of the club (Rohit) as I wanted to know more. I told him that I am interested in opening a Asian dance bar in West Africa and I need Nepali girls who will dance and will go out with customers. He was reluctant in the beginning but after 2 more bottles of beers, he started to open up a bit. He revealed that he has most beautiful artist girls, some of them will go out with customers but if I like choose a girl who refuses to agree on going out, I can change her mind abroad when I will have her passport and she will have to do what I say. The salary ranges from 50K to 100,000 Nepali rupees. And he quoted around 80K for immigration By-Pass (leaving Nepal without being caught by authorities)… When asked more about this By-Pass operation, he revealed that he has very good connections with Immigration Officials in Kathmandu and Delhi and even though Kathmandu airport is totally closed for artist girls to leave Nepal but he can still arrange and has been sending girls out every week. HE took my email address and promised me to send photo-shoot pictures of some good girls later tonight for me to choose. I left the clubs near mid night with my friends but this whole story and all what that girl Tania had told me, create a sickening feeling in my chest.

    These girls don’t know what sort of work they are about to do when they reach Dubai (or any other country) or what their boss will order them to do, I searched the internet later that night but did not find enough about this hidden trafficking, so I called Tania and invited her for a lunch next day. She had brought another friend of her who told be her name as Angel (a fake name maybe). She revealed that she was brought into this line of dancing in bars when she was 16 years old and was sent abroad only at the age of 17 (the agent arranged for her passport to show 19 years age) and was forced to go out with old Arab customers every week in Dubai. She tried to leave the country but could not as her passport was in custody of her bosses or managers and their house was always locked from outside after they come home from dance bars. She showed me a couple of cuts on her wrists which according to her were her attempts top commit suicide when she could not take it any more…. The whole story from Angel was long but I just want to portray the this bitter reality in apparently colorful Kathmandu dance bars…

    Even though its banned by government, but still, many of Nepali girls are being trafficked out of Nepal every day, right under the noses of immigration authorities… I wonder how many of those girls will come back with cut marks on their wrists and the same stories like Angel’s….

    My appeal to Nepali authorities or human Rights Organization is to do more to stop this flesh trade. I am listing contact details of Rohit (The Agent) below just in hope that some one will be able to stop these crocodiles one day and in the hope that it might help in avoiding another Angel story. Even if one of these girls is saved from being raped abroad, through the actions of authorities, I’ll consider my investigation successful.

    Rohit KC
    Dance Bar in Sundara (1st floor)


  17. Anant

    Thanks Mother

  18. Dibya

    Yes.. She is Brilliant…!!!

  19. Ann-Katrin Bauknecht

    Anuradha Koirala is the greatest inspiration and hope to endangered and trafficked young women in Nepal and the Himalayas. In my close cooperation with MAITI-Nepal since 1999 I have developed greatest respect and high admiration for her untiring Crusade to stop sexual violence and trafficking of young illiterate girls and women. She is the greatest hope for a whole generation of exploited and trafficked women in Nepal and India.
    Ann-Katrin Bauknecht – Honorary Consul General of Nepal-Germany

  20. Kumari waiba

    She is a greatest Mother of Neplease Womem and children.


    she is a really great lady. i salute you maa. keep doing your work we are there for you.

  22. Aly Rios

    She is a true angel in earth with the courage and love this world needs so it can become a better place to live. She inspired me to paint so I can keep donating to Maiti Nepal with the sales I make from my paintings.

  23. Ambar Gurung

    love you sister!!!! you are the best!!

  24. Pushpa


  25. 2013 at 5:20 pm

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  26. vinay pandey, advocate/humanrightactivist, india

    i salute MOTHER

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