Asia

From slavery to circus stars

Published 5:46 PM ET, Tue April 30, 2013
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Volunteer trainer Ashlee Ackland stands with the Circus Kathmandu troupe, most of whom have been rescued from traffickers. Bibek Bhandari
Bijaya Limbu was trafficked when he was nine years old. He was rescued after four years and is now a core member of Circus Kathmandu, Nepal's first professional contemporary circus troupe. Bibek Bhandari
Limbu is also a national gold medalist gymnast, but he wants to make circus his career. Circus Kathmandu's latest production "Swagatam" explores human trafficking. Bibek Bhandari
Despite the success of the troupe's stars - first in rebuilding their lives after trafficking and now in the ring -- the circus profession has a poor reputation in Nepal. Bibek Bhandari
The Circus Kathmandu company is made up of nine women and four men and they train about four hours a day. Bibek Bhandari
After starting as a workshop in Kathmandu in 2010 the circus is now planning its first international show -- hopefully in London this summer. Bibek Bhandari