In 2003, Kalpana represented girls who have been exploited by child traffickers for commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Kalpana’s family was very poor, and she had to quit school to work as a waitress in a restaurant in the capital city, Kathmandu. Another waitress introduced Kalpana to three young men who said they dealt in diamonds. A few days later, both girls went with the men to India. But instead of doing diamond deals, the men sold Kalpana and the other girl to a brothel.
Kalpana tried to escape, but she was caught and sold to another brothel. There, she was beaten and tortured for several days until she couldn’t resist any longer. She was forced to serve between 20 and 25 customers a day.
One day a man took a letter from Kalpana to her parents in Nepal. They got in touch with the organization Maiti Nepal, which urged its sister group Maiti Mumbai in India to free Kalpana. The Indian police raided the brothel, and with Kalpana’s help were able to free 20 other girls from Nepal, whom the brothel-owner had kept hidden.
Today Kalpana is an advisor at Maiti’s home for girls who have had the same terrible experiences that she has.