I am Anjana Rokaya originally from a small village of Hetauda. I am a victim of human trafficking and exploitation. I have experienced the harm and disgrace of being exploited as a child. Let me tell you a little history about my life. I had been working in a circus in Kerala(India) as a gymnast for about 5 years. I and many of my friends were persuaded to join the circus by being shown attractive pictures and being promised a better life in Kerala. We got trapped in their influencing stories and fake promises. At the young age of 9 years, without my parents’ consent, I went to Kerala and joined the circus dreaming of a better life. But things didn’t work out the way I had thought. The place was quite unhygienic and in an undisclosed remote area. There, I was abused as a child. I remember being made to do difficult and dangerous stunts and being mistreated whenever not able to do it properly. I was unfamiliar with the language of Kerala which made it even more difficult for me to adjust there. I was made to work from early in the morning without even being paid. They made me do gymnastics and other tiresome works like cutting firewood. Not being able to do the assigned tasks properly resulted in them beating me up. I didn’t have the right to speak and have an opinion. I thought that I would never be able to get out of that place and my life would be like this forever. But after working for nearly 5 years, I found the light of hope when I saw few Nepalese in the circus who were probably there to rescue me and other children like me. But the owners of the circus hid us when they got informed about the rescue team. They were not willing to send us back to Nepal. Somehow, I managed to escape from the place and contact the rescue team who brought me back to Nepal.
After being rescued, I met the team of Himalayan Jewelry and the manger, Sony Quinkel. She advised me to join her team and I joined the jewelry making training in mosaic. Since then, I slowly began to heal, trust and reinvent myself to return to society to make positive contributions. I have been working in Himalayan Jewelry for about 6 years and I live a content and happy life. I feel I am independent and empowered today because I am a part of Himalayan Jewelry.
I am one of the advanced level jewelers in Himalayan Jewelry. I create a lot of designs myself. I am very fine at designing intricate designs. I have developed creative skills in sliver making. Working in Himalayan Jewelry has boosted up my creativity and helped me acquire additional skills in the field.
*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.