Nepal govt steps in to save girl gambled away by father

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Kathmandu, Feb 11 (UNI) The Nepal government has stepped in to save a nine-year-old girl who was gambled away by her father in the western region of the Himalayan Nation.

Nauti Mahara, was taken from her house in Kafallekhi village in Doti district and was forced to marry a 30-year-old man after her father lost Rs 30,000 in gambling to the man.

She was rescued by the district administration and local NGOs after the tale of her plight hit the headlines.

The joint meeting of District Administration Office, District Police Office, Women Development Office, Human Rights Forum and Community Development Centre, decided to give the responsibility of the girl to a women employee of Women Development Office, Chairman of District Child Welfare Committee Janak Raj Regmi informed.

District Child Welfare Committee, Community Development Centre and Equal Development Centre are to be asked for the costs required for the fulfillment of the girls basic needs and rehabilitation.

The father and the groom are yet to be arrested though women's rights groups are demanding they be brought to justice.

Local organisations at a meeting demanded legal action against the perpetrators who married her and forced her to marry, according to media reports.

Mahara's story is a chilling replica of the award-winning book ''Sold'' published in 2006.

Though purportedly fiction, it is based on the real life story of a 13-year-old Nepali girl who was sold by her father to a brothel in India to pay off his gambling debts.

Hundreds of young children are sold by their families every year either to Indian brothels or to circuses and factories where they are treated as slaves.

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