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Luna makes it big in the U.S.

New York City to observe Sept. 28 every year as 'Luna Ranjit Day'

NEW YORK: A Nepali rights activist Luna Ranjit has made a name for herself in the United States, as the New York City Mayor Office has observed September 28 as Luna Ranjit Day in honor of the untiring fighter for rights.

Luna is one of the founders of Adhikaar, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the cause of Nepali and Nepali language speaking immigrants in the U.S. Luna is also entitled to get this year’s the Grinnel Prize, as per an announcement.

The Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize (the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change, according to the Prize’s website. “Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual(s) and half to their organization.”

Luna will share the Prize with Diana Juo and Jackie Stenson, the founders of Essmart that has the motto of “the world’s essential technologies in every local shop.” All the winners were to receive the Prize on October 4.
Adhikaar and Luna

Nepali word Adhikaar basically means the rights. Therefore, it is actually the Adhikaar for Social Justice and Human Rights. This organization has completed 11 years of its operation since it was set in July 2005. It has been helping hundreds Nepalis providing them various services that include: health services, free tax filing, immigration services, labor rights, interpreter training and various livelihood training. And Luna Ranjit is the main steward and bellwether of this organization.

Luna had set up this organization as a co-founder together with rights activists Rashmi Shrestha and Srijana Shrestha, among others. Thirty-nine year old Luna came to the U.S. in 1996 as a student in Grinnell College, Iowa, where she received Bachelor’s Degree in economics and development studies (1996-2000). Thereby, she completed her Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University (2002-2004).

lunaBorn in Kathmandu, Luna completed A Level from Budhanilkantha School and before that she passed her school leaving certificate (grade 10) in 1993 from St. Mary’s High School, where she was a student since 1982. Once she was done with her studies, she started engaging in social works.
Before Adhikaar, she worked with an organization working on HIV/AIDS in 2005. Earlier, she worked as a coordinator with Andolan, an organization of South Asian workers (2004-05). Previously, she worked with an education development academy as a program associate (2000-02).

Published Date: Sunday, October 16th, 2016 | 09:38 PM

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