Maiti holds a special meaning for Nepali women. It evokes feelings of comfort and brings up memories close to their hearts. It is a place of security and refuge. By definition, Maiti means childhood home. Culturally it plays an important part as well. After giving birth, married Nepali women return back to their maternal home-- their Maiti Ghar-- to rest and be looked after for a few months.
Anuradha Koirala founded the non-profit organization, Maiti Nepal with a similar concept. After receiving her education at St. Joseph Convent School in Kalimpong, India, she became determined to help those who needed it the most. Her devotion towards social work deepened when she became a survivor of oppression herself. She wanted to empower women especially those who were considered an“outcast” of society.
Maiti Nepal started with just two rooms to give a home to those women who have been victims of trafficking, exploitations abuse, and violence. They would be given a place they could be safe in. A place they could always come back to. It would be their Maiti Ghar(home).
Since 1993, the organization has continuously advocated against human trafficking and operates a rehabilitation home in Kathmandu and many safe homes on the border of India-Nepal. Almost three decades later, Maiti Nepal has three prevention homes, eleven transit homes, two hospice centers, and a formal school. More than 1000 children receive direct services from Maiti Nepal every day.
Anuradha’s efforts were recognized by the government of Nepal and declared September 5 as a National Anti-trafficking Day. In 2010 Anuradha was declared the CNN Hero. It was the result of her struggle and compassion in fighting human trafficking. Her victory comes as pride and honor not only to Maiti Nepal but also to the nation itself.
Anuradha Koirala is an inspiration and one of the countless influential women in this incredible, strong nation!