Meet Nagina

My name is Nagina and I am 19 years old. I am from a very remote village of Nepal. The place I live is an underdeveloped rural area. I had a dream to study well and work at a high post. My life was going on well.

But one day, when I was coming back home from school with my friends as usual, a group of 4-5 boys were following me and they came close enough and forcefully dragged me to one of the boy’s house. In Rukum where I live, we have a cruel tradition in our society. Our tradition is, if a boy likes a girl they will take that girl forcefully without the consent of that girl; when that happens we will be forced to marry that boy. So this situation happened to my life, a boy took me to his home that day and gave my family Rs 10000 ($100 USD) for taking me. That day I felt I was sold by my family. I was only 15 years old then.

My society forced me to stay with the guy who is 12 years older than me (which was a very unfair act done by an immoral society who consider it moral to forcefully marry a young girl to a boy who is almost double her age). He used to force me into physical relationship; I felt I was raped every night. This lasted for 3 months. In our village, many of those who are in sexual business have 2 common causes: either they were forced into it or it was done as a consent from the family (forceful marriage tradition). These sisters sustain their life by either looking out for customers in the marketplaces, or their own family members search for customers with the consent of the family. Even the family approves these activities so that those sisters can sustain the family. When I was with this boy to whom I was considered to be married, I had a big fear of being forced into sexual business. But after some time the boy left me without even letting me know where or why he was going.

He left so easily but left me helpless with a dark spot on my character. I had nowhere to go. I went back to my parents and came to know that my family had been kept under church discipline because of me. The society also started looking at me with wrong perspective. My studies came to a standstill, together with my dreams of becoming a learned officer. After this it became very difficult for me to live in that society and village.

In my family, both my brother and sister married, and after this incident I will never be able to marry. I wanted to leave the place and go far away. But to leave the place and my so-called husband, I had to pay double the money than what was given by the boy when he had married me. I was in a real need of money to get freedom. One day my pastor encouraged me to go to Kathmandu and learn some skills so that I can earn for myself and become independent. Hoping that I will accomplish something in my uncertain life I have come here at Safe Nepal. I don’t want to go back to my past life, the village, the cruel-minded society, and the dependency but want to be independent for the rest of my life.

We have welcomed our sister to the safe home where she will be learning tailoring. We hope that by learning this skill provided by the safe house, she will be able to accomplish her dream of being independent. Pray for her that in her upcoming days she can be an example to society and also that after the completion of the training, she can become independent.