I was born in a small village behind the mountains of Nepal. My name is Antari Tamang. I have a large family with 6 siblings, father and mother. I am the fifth daughter in my family. We have always been poor. In my childhood there was not enough food and our basic needs were not met. I could not attend school.
One day my own sister and her husband told me that we could no longer live that way. We should try to get rich like the others. They told me that our family was in debt and we had to pay for that. “You must go to Kathmandu (capital of Nepal) to work and earn money. We’ll send you to people who will allow you to study and work”. They repeated this to me three time and told me that there would be good food and that the work would be easy and simple.
When I agreed, my sister and brother-in-law took me to a village away from home and handed me over to a man. He took me to Kathmandu. I was only 10 years old and did not know the Nepali language because I spoke the language of the people of my village. I didn’t know anyone in town, but I was very happy to be in Kathmandu because I had never seen large houses and buildings before.
We stayed one night somewhere, and what I know is the next day we arrived in India by bus. I did not know yet it was India. The man took me to another place where we found a lady. He told me that I should stay with her and she would take care of me. He also told me he would come a few days after to visit me. He never came back though. This first lady, seeing that I was a very young child, sent me to another lady in a small house who gave me medicine and food periodically. They were hormonal drugs to make my body grow fast. I stayed with this lady for 3 months and then I was returned to the first lady. She took me to a very strange place, where many girls were standing and wearing very short clothes. I had the courage to ask a girl and she told me that was a “very bad place”. I thought they were taking me to study, but they were selling me to a brothel. They sent me to a room and told me what I should do. When I said I didn’t want to, they forced me and said they paid a high price for me and that I had to pay back, otherwise I would never leave. They forced me to “work” every day, beat me and tortured me physically and verbally. I was trapped in this nightmare for 6 months.