Rescuing little Rita

My Nepali Podcast

Well this is the beginning of the story when I rescued a little girl from a harsh future. But it is also the story of me separating a young girl and her father and leaving her alone in a situation without any real guarantees that her future will be truly better.

Which one is the real one? To spoil the ending for you: The story actually has a really good happy ending, but being the ever self-doubting person that I am, I still wonder though sometimes.

In order to protect the anonymity of the girl names and places are changed.

When I was staying in a village in the hills of Far-West Nepal 8 years ago, I happened to befriend a young girl of the estimated age of 10. She did not know her own age, nobody had bothered to count the years. The little girl by the name of Rita, lived with her father on the edge of Silgadhi. Her mother had died some years before, and after the mother’s death the father had become a drunkard. Her elder sister was married off and her elder brother had left to India some 3 years before, and no one had ever heard of him again. The father would do day labour in the village for whoever would give him a little work – and with the money he would by alcohol. Oftentimes he would be already dead drunk by 10 am. Screaming and shouting at people. He regularly beat up Rita. Rita had never seen a school from inside and to survive she would beg and help out doing day labour herself.

Later I was told that her sister had worked as a prostitute in the village before she was married off and it was expected that Rita would soon follow in her footsteps, once she became in old enough for men to take an interest in her – probably within 1 to 2 years.

In the next part, read about how the two of us became friends.

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