For a Tin Roof

In Nepal, there is a lot of poverty. Young men have the option to go out of the country and earn money, but most women find it more difficult to find work. Husbands, fathers, and brothers sell their wives, daughters, and sisters because survival is difficult for families. When the daughters go away from home, they start to earn money and send it back to the village to support the rest of the family. Because of a lack of awareness of the world outside their home, the girls come to Kathmandu where they are deceived about the nature of their work, or they are sold directly to the brothels in India.

Why does the father or brother sell the girl in the first place? The recruiters give the families some money and promise that their daughters will make good wages, enough to provide food for the rest of the family, and even to save toward home improvements. A lot of the remote villages in Nepal have a bush roof on their house, and their dream is to have a tin roof. Depending on how big a house they have, this could cost about 20,000 rupees ($200 USD).

The daughters who are sold, who are working in the brothels or as prostitutes, do earn some money and send it back to their families. In the village, nobody knows about the work their daughters are doing in Kathmandu. In a sense, back at home, her work is acceptable because no one knows what she is doing.

When the young men return home through the main transit point at Kathmandu, hotel and guesthouse owners want a cut of the money they have earned abroad. Trading on the anonymity of the big city, they lure these young men to give up more of their hard-earned cash to use the girls who are trapped there.

“The girls get sold and the guys use them; both are victims.”