Personality: Pushpa Basnet
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 3, 2012
Pushpa Basnet is a social worker and the Founder/President of Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) and Butterfly Home, non profit organizations, in Kathmandu, Nepal. She and her organization work to strengthen the rights of children living behind bars with their incarcerated parents.
Her efforts have been recognized by the National and International Media, since she was nominated for the CNN Heroes Award 2012
Basnet started her career at the age of 21, while she was studying Social Work in the college. While visiting the women prison in Kathmandu, as a part of college assignment, she was dismayed at seeing the conditions of children living with their parents behind bars. She raised 70,000 rupees(roughly $885) from her close friends and sister, and started a non-profit organization -The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), to provide a day care program to the children, in 2005.
In 2007, she opened a residential home for kids to live outside of prison year round while still visiting their mothers on holidays. Today, she has assisted more than 100 children of incarcerated parents. She runs a day care center for the prison children, and a residential home for older ones. She has also helped to provide alternative residence, school enrollment, free meals and medical care to them.
In 2009, sponsored by Change Fusion Nepal, she started a program to coach parents to make handicrafts, inside the cell. The main objective being, the female prisoners as well as the former prisoners to involve in income generating activities through which they can sustain their livelihood and also contribute towards raising their children.
Nomination for CNN Heroes Award 2012
She has been nominated for CNN Heroes Award 2012, from Nepal, for her effort and contributions towards the welfare of children,.
When interviewed by CNN, she commented on her venture as;-
“It’s not fair for (these) children to live in the prison because they haven’t done anything wrong…My mission is to make sure no child grows up behind prison walls.”
Banquet in GW University, Washington
Basnet was an honored speaker in TEDx Kathmandu, organized in July 28, 2012.
ELGA Foundation Korea
ELGA Foundation of South Korea awarded ELGA Youth Award to Basnet in September 1, 2012, at Soul’s Chung Conference Hall, for her contribution in human services. Basnet is the only foreigner to receive the award, which was established in the memory of Social worker Kim Yongi in 1989.