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CNN Hero 1012, Pushpa in Top 10: Nepalese keeping fingers crossed for Pushpa

Purushottam Dhakal, Virginia, December 2:
Pushpa Basnet, who has been actively working for ensuring education, healthcare and shelter to those children who have been also compelled to serve jail term with their jailed parents, is in California to attend the gala ceremony where “CNN Hero 2012” award will be announced. She has been living in California for past few days in a host of organizer of the CNN Hero. The award will be announced and conferred to a social worker on Sunday 2nd December at 6 PM according to the Pacific Time, which means a few hours later amid a grand ceremony in Los Angeles of the America among 10 finalists selected throughout the world.
If Pushpa Basnet will be able to be selected for the award, she will be conferred a trophy of ‘CNN Hero 2011’ along with a prize amount of 1 hundred and 25 thousand dollar.
According to the Journalist Sudip Pant in Los Angeles, Nepali peoples across the world are impatiently waiting for the time of award announcement to come while the attention of Nepali residents in the US have also been drawn towards the grand ceremony of the award distribution that is scheduled for Sunday.
Pushpa has already said that if she receives the award, she would spend the award money for the welfare of the children who are languishing in the prison with their jailed-parents.
Thousands of nominations from more than hundred countries are filed for the CNN Hero, one of the prestigious awards in the world. She reached to the top 10 finalists of the ‘CNN Hero’ through the selection process that kicked off eight months ago following the internet process of nomination. The children, whom Puspha is taking care after, along Nepalese around the world are praying for Pushpa to be announced as a winner of the award from Anderson Cooper, a well-known anchor of the CNN, who will be hosting today’s ceremony.
Lamenting upon the delay for working towards the wellbeing of those children who have living miserable life with their prisoner parents, Basnet says that she will dedicate the respect she earns for the welfare of those children. “Come and let’s join our hands for the wellbeing of those innocent children who have been forced to live the jail-life with their prisoner parents,” she requests.
Basnet, 28, has struggled a lot for 7 years to receive this achievement. One day when she was 21,she went to prison. She saw a jail for female prisoners. Whatever she there changed the course of her life.
There were jailbirds and there were their innocent children forced to live in jail. Their wearisome life in the jail wrenched the heart of Pushpa. A question keep on hunting her heart. “Why these innocent children without any crime are forced to serve the jail term with their parents?”
The recurring question in her mind didn’t leave her for many days. Sanchamaya Tamang from Sindhupalchowk was sentenced of jail term under the allegation of murdering her husband. “An eight-month daughter was with her in her lap. The face of that small baby hunted me recurrently for many days,” Basnet explains, “agree that her mother committed crime. However, what’s the crime of an eight-year baby?” The quest led me to jail again. She felt an eight-month child is calling her from the jail. She wanted to do something for the child. “But, her mother didn’t let her to do anything,” Pushpa recalls, “She was feeling like I am going to harm her child.” Basnet went to meet the jailer.
“Jailer also didn’t let me do anything saying that I amnt allow to do for the child inside. Asking me having any registered organization to take the child outside the jail,” remembering the incident, Basnet adds, “the jailer was intended to discourage me.”
However, Basnet refused to relent.  Despite of various odds, she established an organization and named it “Early Childhood Development Center” The office of the Center was in Dhalku of the capital Kathmandu at the early stage. She used to bring 4 children daily in the office and take care of their and later returned them back to their parents in the jail. This was in the beginning. But, later, she started to keep the children with herself. She sent them to the school. Gradually, she started getting applause from a circle of people.
A chunk of people attentions were drawn by her outstanding works. She met some helping hands along with donors.
She started getting limelight in the media and eventually her handworks started spreading to the world making it to the list of the top ten finalists of the ‘CNN Hero2012’. Friends later told her the good news. However, she initially didn’t believe it. She was confirmed later through a news of www.nepal24hours.com posted in her facebook wall and watched the news in CNN. She was overjoyed with the news gaining the acknowledgement brought by her work.

Published Date: Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 | 01:55 AM

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