Urvashi comes from a small Nepali village in the Nuwakot district, an area well known for trafficking young girls and women to India where they are sold into the sex trade.
When she was 10 years old she was sent to the capital city of Kathmandu to work in a small eatery. She worked long hours for almost nothing, but she had hopes to get her passport and work abroad. One day she met a stranger who she connected well with. She eagerly shared her hopes and found him to be kind and gentle. He claimed that he could find her work in India, which would be closer to her home. In order to get this job, she would have to travel with him to India.
Urvashi trusted him. She was excited and on the next day they boarded a bus to travel to India. She was told that she would be taken to Gangtok in Sikkim, but on the bus she fell asleep. When she woke up she was in Siliguri and then was put on another bus to the major city of Kolkata. In Kolkata, she was taken to Sonagachi, one of the world’s most recognizable red-light districts with high rates of human trafficking. From there she was sent to a brothel in Haldia. She was forced into a different life against her will. Slowly she gave up resisting and accepted what she thought was her new future. Later, she would be moved to Delhi where she had an abusive owner who would take all her money and force her to work continuously. Along with some other girls, she ran away from this owner, but the only place she knew was Sonagachi in Kolkata, and so she returned to the district.
Urvashi was rescued in January of 2015 along with five other girls. Urvashi and two others were placed at Mahima Care Homes a ministry partner of Partners International. When she was angry and hostile. She was adamant that she wanted to leave and return to the brothel. She kept saying “We don’t want to eat food that is given in pity, we are used to working for our food, I was happy where I was, I have been doing it for so many years, I want to go back”. This continued for two and half months. All three girls would huddle together, form a clique, and not get involved in any activities at the home.
But God intervened. Urvashi broke down one day during devotions and shared that she was beginning to grasp God’s love and forgiveness. She said “I used to feel like nobody could love me because I was a bad person and I did bad things. When I walked outside the brothel area I hid my face in case people recognized me. When we walked in the brothel area the men would shout obscene comments, but now I know that God has forgiven me and He loves me.”
Two months later as she went back with the Mahima team to get her belongings and once she returned to Mahima, it was as if the ropes tying her down were cut loose. She was free. There was joy and happiness on her face and a lightness in her step.
Urvashi is now working at an NGO that makes soaps and candles with other Nepali women, she studies every evening with a tutor, and she is learning about computers and taking dance lessons. She is exhausted at the end of the day but she says, “I need to take advantage of every opportunity that God has given me. It is all because of His grace”. Urvhasi has accepted Christ’s unconditional love and wants to serve Him as long as she lives.
She is now a joyous person who is feeling and experiencing success. She feels loved and knows that she is a child of a loving God. She looks forward to going back to Nepal, but not just yet. She wants to study and learn in India.
It is through girls like Urvashi that we see what the Grace of God is capable of.