Untold Stories from Nepal | Ashra
[Content trigger warnings: physical and sexual violence and suicide]
“My life has a new beginning”
Ashra* fled her captors in the dead of night, scaling the brothel’s walls.
It was festival season in India, almost one year from when she was trafficked across the India-Nepal border and sold into a life of violent sexual abuse and slavery.
“I was tortured and beaten for not doing what I was told,” remembers Ashra.
“At times, I wanted to end my life. I had no hope, but I had to keep going—for my daughter.”
A local festival provided the perfect distraction for Ashra’s escape: the brothel’s guards were preoccupied playing card games, firecrackers roared across the night sky.
Moving swiftly, undetected in the bedlam, three local boys guided Ashra to a bus station, where she could travel back to Nepal—back home to her parents.
Leaving her daughter behind was the hardest decision of Ashra’s life. But she knew it was the only way. She must find help first—only then could she return and rescue her precious girl.
“I couldn’t eat or sleep properly while we were apart. I worried I’d never see her again.”
Once she was free, Ashra sought help from local authorities to negotiate her daughter’s release. It was an arduous process, and Ashra fought hard. Even still, it would be a year before mother and daughter finally laid eyes on each other again—and their reunion was bittersweet.
“You might think I’d be happy to see my daughter, but I couldn’t be happy. Not when I saw how she’d been treated. She was so thin. She couldn’t eat or stand. She couldn’t speak properly. It broke me.”
Safely back in Nepal and finally together, Ashra and her daughter were left reeling and traumatised from their experiences. They needed safety, healing, and help to rebuild their lives—and they found it at 3 Angels Nepal.
“A neighbour told me about 3 Angels Nepal. I had hoped for a small amount of help from them, but what we received was immeasurable.
“3 Angels Nepal took me to a safe haven where we received care and education. I started to hope that we could build a life for ourselves again.”
The women’s safe haven was a place of acceptance and rest for Ashra and her daughter. Slowly, their lives began to be restored. Ashra was invited to complete vocational education, including training in border security, and her daughter started school. Their confidence grew, their options increased, and their hope was rebuilt.
Today, Ashra is proud to work for 3 Angels Nepal at an India-Nepal border checkpoint, where she intercepts traffickers and prevents girls from experiencing a similar life of slavery. She is exceptional at her job because she knows exactly what to look for—the warning signs of trafficking—and the critical importance of swift action.
“In my job, I have the chance to stop other women from experiencing my pain.
“3 Angels Nepal did more than I could ever have imagined. You cannot measure my happiness, or how good it feels to be part of rescuing women from trafficking.
“My life has a new beginning.”
You can help give freedom to women and children in Nepal today. 100% of your gift will go directly to the field to help end human trafficking.
*Name changed and representational photo used to protect the individual’s identity