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Nothing can prepare you for the brutality ...
on 15 March 2011
I have seen a few television documentaries and even a two part drama about human trafficking and I can honestly say that nothing prepared me for the brutality I found written within the pages of this book ... conjuring the many, many images that will continue to haunt you long after you have closed the book.
Radhika left her small village home in Kathmandu, Nepal at the age of 15 in the hope of earning some money to educate herself and also to help her family who were living in abject poverty caused by financing a large dowry for their eldest daughter. Little did she know that she would not see her home for many years. At 16 naive Radhika became a helpless victim of a well executed plan by a network of human traffickers. Initially groomed over many weeks by a trafficker named `Lama' who with the promise of a lucrative position as housekeeper to a rich family in the city easily gained Radhika's trust, her reward for this trust is the loss of a kidney, a forced marriage to a family member of one of the human traffickers and months of cruelty.
And it does not stop there!
After her son Rohan is born things get even worse, Radhika's violent husband deserts her and she discovers herself once more in trouble, the human traffickers have not finished with her and she finds herself transferred from brothel to brothel, her son ripped from her arms and taken from her for many months at a time.
Radhika's story is emotionally shattering and even though you know from the outset that Radhika manages to escape and save her son, you wonder how she can find the resolve to achieve this.
Another point of interest is the way Radhika's family reacted to her when she returned home ... so look out for that.
Although shocking and harrowing `Radhika's Story' is a book you will feel compelled to read to the very last page and then you will find yourself re-reading the last few chapters to reaffirm in your own mind that it really is all over for Radhika and her son Rohan.
A more gripping heart rending human story I have yet to read and I congratulate the author Sharon Hendry for bringing this very real global problem to our attention.
An excellent book for reading groups with many points of interest to discuss.