Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Wouldn't you know...I found this posted by the columnist who wrote the "Sentenced to be Raped" article on the NYTimes website. Snail mail can reach him at:

Nicholas D. Kristof The New York Times 229 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036

An update on Mukhtaran Bibi, the woman in Pakistan who was sentenced by a tribal council to be gang-raped, and who then started schools for boys and girls in her village. I thought I might get a response from the column, but it has blown me away. While I was off traveling, my assistant, Winter Miller, was opening stacks of letters from people who wanted to help - and who in many cases did help, with checks.

So we've got a box here with more than $90,000 in checks made out to Mukhtaran. Since they are drawn on U.S. banks, we need to work out a way to get her the money without incurring large check-clearing fees, and Winter has been working that out. Probably the money will go through a U.S. aid group, which will also help Mukhtaran keep the money safe and figure out how best to use it. I should know more in a couple of days, and I'll post any updates here.

I also heard from Mukhtaran that she has received many checks directly. She deposited some directly, but will hold on to the others for now, until we can figure out how to avoid those check-clearing fees. (Unless you make special arrangements, a bank in Pakistan will charge up to $50 in fees for depositing a U.S. check.) She is delighted with the response, needless to say, and thanks everyone for the help. My hope is that the attention will also help keep her alive, and will make it harder for the higher-status villagers who raped her two years ago to kill her now.