Meet Lalita Rai

Lalita Rai has never seen her parents. All she remembers is that she has a sister and brother, although now, she is not in contact with either. She lived with her uncle but, he was unable to take care of her for very long. Instead, he found her a new family, one which was supposed to send her to school and help provide her with a better life. However, this situation did not unfold as Lalita and her uncle had hoped. While she was a mere 6 years old, the family members forced her to complete all of the household work, and did not send her to school as she was promised. Lalita tried to convince them to allow her to attend school, but they refused every time, going so far as blaming this little girl for the deaths of both of her parents. Lalita was shocked at this; these accusations both physically and mentally tormented her. While she doesn’t remember how long she was with this family, she does know that, for her, each day felt like an entire year.

After some time, while the whole family was on vacation and had left her alone at home, she escaped and went back to her uncle. When she told him that she had not been sent to school and of her poor treatment, her uncle was disappointed and started the search for a new family. Before going to another family, her uncle did at least tell her that she was not responsible for the deaths of her parents: her mother had died during the delivery of her younger brother, while her father had died falling from a cliff. At least she was relieved from this particular mental trauma.

This time, with a new family, she was allowed to attend school, but she was still forced to work for long hours. This severely hampered her studies and, in grade four, she was declared incapable of advancement to the next level in her studies.

TSW sent Karma Sherpa to see why this little girl was having so much trouble. He documented her story in 2011, and began encouraging her to study hard, promising her that TSW would help her. After only two years, Lalita has been mesmerized by the fulfillment of this promise, and has finally been taken to her dream house. Today, she is happy to study, without hardship, and is happy to have her own family in the Himalayan Hope Home, as well as her friends at school.