The struggle is real. Victims of human trafficking need to be heard. With the help of organizations all around the world, we can help people gain knowledge and awareness on the issue. Hopefully, we will see a complete end to human trafficking in the future.
This is a brothel much like the one Lakshmi was brought to. The girls wore bright colors (like the girls in the back of the picture). These houses were run down and the girls lived in conditions not suitable for living.
A big symbol in my book is the material a roof is made out of. The main character and her mother dream to have a tin roof but they can't afford it. Instead they have a thatched roof which represents poverty. This photo shows a Nepali family who has a thatched roof just like the main character did.
Slavery No More is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to try to abolish modern day slavery and human trafficking. They also want to raise awareness on the issue because they believe once people are aware, they will have a desire to help.
In this article, Nicholas Kristof interviews a woman whose story is almost parallel to Lakshmi story. The woman was sold into child prostitution when she was only 6 years old. She retells her experiences of her everyday routine at the brothel she was to. She lived in awful conditions and would have to flirt with men in order to save herself from a beating that night. If she tried to escape, she would be severely punished. This punishment was that she would be locked into a barrel half-full of human waste and insects. She fortunately escaped at the age of 9 to a shelter that took her in. She has problems trusting men now but she does know that not all men are bad. Kristof then goes on to say how child prostitution is a growing issue and is considered "modern slavery". There are about 10 times as much human trafficking as there was slaves coming into the New World. Kristof ends by saying how there needs to be a 21st-Century abolitionist movement in order to end this modern slavery.
Both Kristof and McCormick tell similar stories through the girls. Lakshmi was put into the "locked-in" room if she misbehaved (McCormick 109). She gets severely punished just like the woman in Kristof's article. Another similarity between Lakshmi and the woman from the article is that they both had to flirt with men in order to basically survive. Lakshmi flirted with men in order to be able to pay of to pay off her debt and escape (McCormick 229). Fortunately, both of these girls were able to escape their hell. Lakshmi did it in a different way than the woman the article though. She was saved by the Americans while the woman from the article simply ran away successfully.
Sold [Patricia McCormick] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor
Clara Neurauter's insight:
Lakshmi is from a very poor area in Nepal. Her family, which consists of her mother and stepfather, grows crops in order to make a little money. Unfortunately, any money that is made the stepfather selfishly gambles all away. Even though life is a struggle for Lakshmi, she still finds the joy of life through her goat, her best friend, and her mother's love for her. Later on, a monsoon hits a destroys all of the family's crops leaving them with nothing to live off of. The stepfather makes the decision to sell his stepchild into prostitution so that he can still enjoy his gambling and other unnecessary pleasures. Lakshmi just thinks she is going to be a maid in the city to help provide for her family but soon she finds out her actual fate. The cruel woman in charge of the brothel that Lakshmi is sold into, Mumtaz, claims that Lakshmi can leave once she pays off the price Mumtaz paid for her. Lakshmi works her hardest to try to get back home from this hell but only to find out that Mumtaz never intended for Lakshmi to leave and she was cheated. Fortunately, a couple of American "customers" are really there to try to free the girls of the brothel and take them to safety. Lakshmi finally realizes that the Americans are there to help her, not harm her and she agrees to let them take her away from the brothel. In the end, she is free at last.
The scopes I focused on in the novel are gender inequality, poverty, and child prostitution. Lakshmi goes through all three of these topics all throughout the entire book. Gender inequality is shown when Lakshmi and Uncle Husband are at a train stop and a woman is being disgraced for trying to run away from her husband. Lakshmi is confused and asks Uncle Husband why they are throwing things at this woman and Uncle Husband replies, "That's what she gets for trying to run away from her husband" (McCormick 85). Women were supposed to honor men or else they would get their head shaved. Women were treated like objects to men and were not respected. If a woman was out of line, a husband had the right to put her back in line by all means necessary. They could not stand up for themselves. Lakshmi experiences poverty through her home life. A big symbol in the book that showed poverty was the material a roof was simply made of. Lakshmi explains what a tin roof means,"A tin roof means that the family has a father who doesn't gamble away the landlord's money playing cards in the tea shop. A tin roof means the family has a son working at the brick kiln in the city. A tin roof means that when the rain comes, the fire stays lit and the baby stays healthy" (McCormick 1). What Lakshmi is saying is opposite to what she has. Her family possesses the opposite of what is stated in that quote. They have a thatched roof because of all their misfortunes. Lakshmi fantasizes about obtaining a tin roof for her family and bringing them honor throughout the whole book. Child prostitution is the big focus of the book due to the fact that it is horrifying. Lakshmi has to try to get enough customers in order to pay of her debt. She is only 13 and doesn't even understand what sex is exactly. The girls that were sold into prostitution have a higher price for having hips and for being young. An example of this is when Lakshmi's stepfather is selling her to Bajai Sita, "She has no hips. And she's plain as porridge,. I'll give you five hundred" (McCormick 53). Girls had to go through this when families had no money They were also disgraced from their family if they returned.
This organization's goal is to assist countries and support the victims of human trafficking. They believe that awareness of human trafficking is growing but the knowledge about human trafficking is low. This organization is trying to get the information about human trafficking out so potential victims are less vulnerable.
This article talks about how even though women in Nepal are starting to become involved in politics, the country is still male- dominated. The leaders of the country think that women are just not as capable as men. The article goes on to say how women in political positions have only gotten there through relatives who were also in the field. The author talks about how most of the people who are honorably recognized from Nepal are women. It is also mentioned how women make up 50 percent of the country's population and since there are so many of them, they can contribute to society positively. Hopefully one day women will be seen as equals in the country and countries surrounding it.
In the book, we see gender inequality when the woman is being punished for trying to run from her husband (McCormick 85). The woman's head was also shaved so if she runs again, no one will help her. This relates to the article because it shows the presence of a male-dominated society. Shaming the woman gives the man the control over her so she doesn't step "out of line" again. Women contribute in the book by maintaining the household and raising the children. Lakshmi's mother stayed at home while the stepfather was the one who gambled away their money. This shows how the mother was really the powerful one through her responsibilities and care for her family.
There are still children working and living as slaves today. More interesting videos at www.g33klite.com
Clara Neurauter's insight:
This documentary talks about different forms of child slavery. I chose this documentary because one of the children's story is about being sold into a brothel much like how Lakshmi was sold into prostitution.
In this article, the author talks about how climate change affects Nepal. Nepal is in an area with a very unstable climate. The country can go a long time without ran and a long time with too much rain. This affects their crop production because the weather conditions can destroy them. This leaves the country very poor if they are unable to sell crops. It also leaves the country hungry. Nepal is notorious for being very poor and this is evident in the novel as well. The author suggests that Nepal puts climate change high up on their agenda in order to help the country grow and produce revenue.
The novel shows the perfect example of how the climate change leads to poverty. There is a section in the book where Lakshmi and her family experience a long drought that almost kills all of their crops. There is more than 50 days without rain for them. The village's headman at one point in the story says that they have to start rationing water (McCormick 21). Lakshmi sits and watches her beloved cucumbers start to brown. Luckily, it starts to rain one day and Lakshmi's family lets out a sigh of relief. The only problem is it doesn't stop raining. In fact, it is a monsoon that has come and it washes away all their remaining crops (McCormick 33). This an excellent example of what the article is talking about. The unstable climate lead Lakshmi's stepfather sell her into prostitution since there was no other way he could make money.
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