Pushpa Basnet, a lady who tries to redesign the fortune of imprisoned children in Nepal
Just like butterflies they were playing, flattering their hands in the air, hopping box to box which they had designed on the floor. They were some little children who hardly had seen an open play ground and a free blue sky in their life, since they were compelled to live behind bars with their incarcerated parents. Pushpa Basnet, daughter of an established entrepreneur father, faced this reality (plight of the children) when she once visited a women’s jail in Kathmandu, Nepal. The visit was just a part of her college assignment. Pushpa was a student of Social Work. But that visit did not remain as it was supposed to be. She could not sleep for many nights after seeing the children inside the jail. The smiling faces of those innocent kids often appeared in her subconscious and gradually, an unfamiliar pain started grinding her heart.
Pushpa Basnet decided to do something for those kids and so in 2005, she started a non-profit organization named Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) to provide day care service to the children. Her initial fund was 70,000 which she had raised with the help of her sister and friends.
The path that she had decided to travel was not an easy ride, since Ms. Basnet’s program was the first of its kind in her city Kathmandu. She faced reluctance from the prison officials and government workers. Even some imprisoned mothers doubted her, whether she could handle such a huge responsibility. But she seemed undaunted, so defied all hurdles. She managed her parents and started her project with five children. Some of those children had seen the life, outside of the jail for the first time. Two years later in 2007, Pushpa Basnet established Butterfly Home, a residential home for the kids to live outside the prison where she herself also lives.
Today, her organization serves more than 100 children. She also helps to find alternative residences, provides free meals and medical care to the kids and manages school enrollment for the older ones.
In 2009, with the help of sponsored fund from Change Fusion Nepal, she began a program to train parents to make handicrafts inside the cell. She hopes that it may help them to get a normal life and to raise their children. Recognizing her effort, many small and big organizations in Nepal now have come forward to help her organization with donations.
Pushpa Basnet received CNN hero award for her indomitable effort she made to redesign the fortune of the imprisoned kids. She received a USD 50,000 grant with the award to keep the pace of her welfare project alive.