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Imagine looking out of your bus one day, and seeing a group of red-jacket clad bikers pedaling along the steep Himalayan roads. What would your first instinct be? The ‘Tour-de-Himalayas’? Not quite. These are Buddhist nuns pedaling from India to Nepal to protest against human trafficking. They have no personal interest in this- it is all for humanity.

Around 500 Buddhist nuns of the Drukpa Order from Kathmandu, Nepal often make a trip – sometimes completing a 4000 km trip to Leh, India. The purpose of the entire mission is creating awareness about trafficking in that extremely inaccessible and remote region.

Jigme Konchok Lhamo spoke about how most parents would sell their daughters in the aftermath of the Nepal Earthquake. The parents could just not afford to keep their daughters anymore. She adds that the entire process is simply to present the truth that girls are equal to boys. The rural, highly illiterate regions need to stop considering women inferior to their men and stop selling them.

It is a sad travesty that a region like South Asia, boasting of famous woman leaders like Indira Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi, and cultures that worship women as deities, also have a very negative stance towards women in general. It would although be wrong to say that the attitude is not changing. There have been laws that are slowly preventing honor killing, feticides, child marriages, and there is progress in the air.

This is not the first time that these Kung Fu nuns have ventured out. They have previously gone round the area on 4 different occasions, spreading information about various social issues. They have also spoken to political and religious leaders. Their main focus is gender equality.

They are led by the Gyalwang Drukpa and are part of the Drukpa order. They have been known to raise quite a few eyebrows amongst the Buddhists. After all, they are seen as warrior monks. They also help with providing medical facilities to the villages, whilst delivering food to the old and the sick.

Historically, nuns have been treated differently from the monks. But the present chief decided to change it. Carrie Lee of Live to Love International believes that change in the air and these rides are bringing in the change. Her charity works with this sect, amidst the marginalized sectors of the land.

The efforts of the leader have been extremely visible. Raised in a household that supported gender equality, he had no qualms about providing martial arts classes to the nuns. He also provided them with leadership roles, ones that would help them develop in the wider strata of things.

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In fact, the leader pedals with them on some of their journeys. Be it storm or rain, he would be out there. And the journeys they take aren’t exactly smooth sailing either.

Ironically, they are mostly considered to be monks when witnessed by bystanders. One can simply imagine the look of shock on their faces when they realize that these are girls, and kung fu nuns on top of that. Somewhere down that line, Jigme Wangchuk Lhamo believes, this changes their opinion about gender inequality.

It is no surprise that gangs are at work in these parts, duping people into a life of luxury by selling their family members. The males usually work as bonded laborers, while the females are sold to brothels. Experts are of the opinion that it is usually the disaster-hit regions that face the brunt of this. Due to a total breakdown in social institutions, it is very easy to dupe people into it. With no governmental support reaching the deepest of disaster-hit regions, one can simply understand what any family would do in that situation.

The earthquakes that hit the regions of Nepal in 2015 led to the widespread displacement of around 40000 kids. This led to them being trafficked, due to a lack of speedy government recovery,

The Drukpa order believes that this led to a turnaround in their entire ideology about human trafficking. Their actions have led to the widespread awareness of human trafficking that is prevalent in these sectors. Although most believe that they simply pray and do nothing else, the main motto of their sect is to act on what they believe in.

And the kung fu nuns intend to keep their word. They wish to live up to the ‘kung fu nuns’ name.

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