On stage, Ruchira Gupta looks nothing like she does in the press materials. In a publicity photo, Gupta wears a tough but convivial smile and a red scarf wound around her neck. Her arms are crossed. At the International Women’s Day Celebration held at the Egyptian Theatre the evening of March 19, she leaned against the podium and wore glasses with thick black rims, the red scarf draped over her shoulders. Instead of a rugged woman of action, she came off as a wizened woman driven to action by circumstance.
Those circumstances—the subject of her talk Wednesday evening at a packed Egyptian Theatre—are harrowing: In the 1990s, Gupta was a journalist pursuing a story in the border villages of Nepal, where, she said, she saw no young girls. The locals were reluctant to answer when she asked where they’d gone, but one villager finally gave her an answer. Continue Reading.