According to reports by The Indian Express, last year's devastating earthquake in Nepal caused a spike in human trafficking. A total of 725 individuals were smuggled after the natural disaster —up 15 percent from the year prior.
Since the earthquake, India has become the "transit location." "From Nepal, the women are trafficked first to India, and then to Sri Lanka, Thailand, or Bangladesh, from where they are taken to Middle East, Europe, and Africa.”
But, in order to combat this tragic reality, 500 kung-fu-fighting Himalayan Buddhist nuns are "cycling across the Himalayas to promote gender equality and address the region's growing human trafficking crisis."
This group of nuns of the Drukpa Lineage began riding in July from Kathmandu and will continue on their "yatra" (pilgrimage) until they reach Ladakh, India — a total distance of 2,500 kilometers.
Throughout their journey, these nuns stop in different villages to pray, teach, and promote environmental awareness and female empowerment.
"We are spreading these messages: girls also have power, they are not weak," 27-year-old nun Yeshe Lhamo told Women in the World. “In these regions, they listen to and respect religious teachings, so for a religious person to say that diversity and equality is important, maybe people can make this their spiritual practice too.”
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