Pushpa Basnet (Class of 2011)
Pushpa Basnet is a social worker and the Founder/President of Early Childhood Development Center which works towards strengthening of the rights of children living behind bars with their incarcerated parents. This also includes rescuing children from serving their parents’ sentences and helping them enjoy their fundamental rights with food, clothes, shelter, and education.
In 2007, Basnet established a residential home called the ‘Butterfly Home’ as a part of the Early Childhood Development Center, this gave these children a daycare, and a place they can call home. In this residential home, children get to play, go to school, and have a normal childhood. This has given hope and motivation to the parents to continue to provide their children with the same privilege once they are out of the prison. Once the parents are out of the prison, her organization focuses on children reintegration back into the family along with educational support and monthly ration.
International media has recognized Basnet’s efforts. In 2012, she won a CNN Heroes Award, and in 2013, actress/activist Susan Sarandon’s Reframed Pictures released the award-winning documentary Waiting for Mamu, which detailed Basnet’s struggles.