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India, Nepal pop stars team up for anti-trafficking drive

Kathmandu, Aug 24 (IANS) Pop stars from Nepal and India are teaming up for a series of concerts in Nepal's main cities for an anti-trafficking campaign sponsored by MTV.

Published: Monday,Aug 24, 2009 19:19 PM GMT-06:00
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Kathmandu, Aug 24 (IANS) Pop stars from Nepal and India are teaming up for a series of concerts in Nepal's main cities for an anti-trafficking campaign sponsored by MTV.

Indian crooner Sunidhi Chauhan and Nepali pop icon as well as Coke's poster boy Nima Rumba will join local stars Kranti Ale and Nalina Chitrakar for the campaign that kicks off with a concert in Kathmandu Sep 5, the first in a series of free 'MTV EXIT Live in Nepal' concerts, said a statement by the American embassy here.

The subsequent concerts will be held in Pokhara, Dharan and Hetauda. Former Miss Nepal and popular MC Malvika Subba will host the Kathmandu concert.

Subba, the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign's ambassador in Nepal, had also lent her voice to the MTV documentary 'Sold', the heart-wrenching tale of three teens from South Asia who are sold into prostitution and slavery.

Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Lara Dutta is the narrator in the English and Hindi versions of the documentary.

The MTV EXIT campaign extends across all of Asia and is produced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and MTV. Two prominent anti-trafficking organisations in Nepal - Maiti Nepal and ABC Nepal - will provide information at the concerts on how to combat human trafficking.

'I'm incredibly proud to perform at this important concert,' Sunidhi said. 'I hope that through my music and involvement in the MTV EXIT campaign millions of people will learn about this tragic form of slavery.'

Kevin Rushing, USAID-Nepal's Mission Director, feels that the lack of awareness obstructed the campaign.

'Efforts to stop human trafficking have been hampered by the public's lack of awareness about the severity of the problem. Victims of trafficking are often young men and women - MTV's demographic - who are guilty of only wanting a better life. USAID is excited to fund this effort with MTV, in part because of their unique ability to reach millions - and prevent Nepalis from becoming victims.'

NGOs in Nepal estimate that as many as 15,000 Nepali women and girls are trafficked to India annually while 7,500 children are traded domestically for commercial sexual exploitation.

In addition, an estimated 20,000-25,000 Nepali girls become involuntary domestic workers each year within Nepal, according to the US Department of State's 2009 'Trafficking in Persons Report.'

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