In Asia, many women and children are being made the victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution every day. Caste based discrimination and poverty are said to be the main causes. Gospel Aid carries out vocational training, job creation and provides educational and financial support for socially vulnerable women and children in the Asia region, thus helping them with their independence and enhancement of basic human rights.
This is Mika Sato, the head representative for Gospel Aid.
Ever since I was 19 years old, I have been active as a Gospel Music Director and a Pianist in the Central Japan area. Over the past 20 years, I have witnessed countless people delivered, encouraged and their lives transformed through Gospel Music.
At the same time, I learned the history of black people in America, the birthplace of Gospel Music, who also overcame much suffering and discrimination. This encounter has paved way for me to better understand the foundations on which the present day United States was formed.
“I have a dream”, said Martin Luther King Jr and now we can see that dream becoming a reality in the US. American television now depicts both white people and black people working together and eating the same meals at the meal table.
This freedom was built on the sweat, blood, tears and prayers of many a human rights activists. And through it all, it was the song of hope, “the Gospel”, which gave breath to the movement. This is not something that occurred centuries before, but it was still a reality just 40 years ago in the United States. There were many incidents where people were killed or hung on trees just because of the reason that their identity was “black”.
A similar discrimination exists in Nepal to this day. People, who belong to the ethnic groups at the lowest keg of the caste ladder, are branded by the society as “untouchables”. The members of these groups even assume their identity as “Dalits” on their own. They are regarded as outcasts, alienated and subjected to daily discrimination. Countless people are so easily murdered just because of their identity as “Dalits”.
When I came to know about this issue, I just couldn’t remain silent. I wanted to do something. However, there was a feeling of helplessness that was coupled with a compulsive thrust of impulsive frustration. I felt under attack by my own weakness. A sense of grave disappointment set in. All that remained in me was this grief that constantly weighed down upon my heart.
2 years since this incident has occurred, I tried to set my eyes upon what I had, instead of worrying about what I didn’t have or couldn’t do. Then came the realization: I might not have the required funds, but I do have a network of Gospel musicians and artists to back me up.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that one day, the people of Nepal who are branded by the society as untouchables and those who belong to the higher castes, will be able to work together at the same workplace, eat together the same meal, even becoming neighbours and helping one another. And soon, the people who are now called untouchables maybe be called “the people of wonder” and that they will be able to become givers of hope to the hopeless in this whole wide world. With everyone’s help and cooperation, let us create employment opportunities for the Badi tribe, thus putting an end to forced prostitution and bring about the transformation of Nepal.