At the age of 6, Chandu was taken to India to work as a domestic maid

Beyond the Orphanage

Written by:

BTO Field Team

Our partners and staff in the field provide as much information as possible about the rescue of children in dangerous situations.

Suraj and Chandu were rescued from the district of Mahottari, situated a few kilometres away from the Nepal – India border. The border between Nepal and India is 1000 miles long with just 14 checkpoints along the route. This makes it easy to smuggle over 30,000 women and young girls, as young as 5 from Nepal into India every year.

This was the case for young Chandu, who is around 6 years old. An orphaned child, Chandu found herself in the care of her late father’s brother and his wife, who could not afford to look after her and her brother, due to extreme poverty. They could hardly afford to feed their own children…

The Aunt decided to take Chandu to India for domestic work while Chandu’s brother, Suraj, was left back in Mahottari to fend for himself.

A few months later, local villagers alerted the authorities that Suraj had been roaming the streets looking for food. He was very thin, acutely malnourished and he found himself in unsafe situations everyday. Our on-the-ground partners, Sano Paila, were also alerted by community leaders.

Beyond the Orphanage’s first aim is always to keep orphans in the care of extended family. We enable a kinship model of care by helping the families financially and emotionally so that the children can grow up in a stable, loving family environment. Unfortunately for Suraj and Chandu, this simply was not possible – it was clear that their future would be uncertain and unsafe if they were left in Mahottari. Once the due diligence and investigations were underway, it was found that Chandu was working as a maid in India and plans for her rescue were quickly put in place to reunite the brother and sister.

As with many rescued children, pieces of their history come to the forefront with time, as they come to terms with their past and the trauma that haunts them. They don’t have a birthday, just a rescue day, sometimes no identity.

Beyond the Orphanage works to restore their identity and dignity, while providing everything they need to grow into self-reliant adults.

As for Chandu and Suraj, we are still searching for more family history. Meanwhile, they have received medical attention, have settled into the Sano Paila home and are living with their extended brothers and sisters while attending school. A picture really tells a thousand words – just look at Chandu’s cheeky face on her way to school! On our team’s visit earlier this year, the brother and sister could not wait to show the team their home, their room and their mum and dad (house mother and father).

To learn more about Sano Paila, and the work BTO does there, click here.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the change we seek. If you choose to sponsor children like Suraj & Chandu, you will forever change their lives.

April 3, 2018

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