Los Angeles, CA – Pushpa Basnet was named the CNN Hero of the Year for 2012. Pushpa Basnet received her $250,000 reward at the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute hosted by the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Pushpa Basnet was honored along with the other top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012, who each received $50,000 in recognition of their good works.
According to CNN, Pushpa Basnet is a Nepalese woman who supports children whose parents are incarcerated within government jails. Nepal is very poor and provides few groups homes for children who have no other guardians. When children cannot find a place to stay, they are forced to live behind bars with their incarcerated parents.
“These children have done nothing wrong. They are simply caught in something they do not understand,” Pushpa Basnet said. “We want to work with the government to bring them all out from of prison. And they deserve a better future.”
Pushpa Basnet started a nonprofit children’s home in Kathmandu called the Early Childhood Development Center where 140 children so far have received education, food, medical care, and a chance to live a more normal life. The Center also includes a day care program for children who are too young to be separated from their parents.
Basnet was chosen by CNN.com as Hero of the Year through a nine-week public vote. When accepting the Hero of the Year award, Pushpa Basnet relayed a message to incarcerated children in Nepal:
“Mamu’s [a nickname for Pushpa] going to take you out from the prison, and you’re coming to my place. This is for my children, and this is for my country Nepal. Thank you so much everybody who voted for me and who believed in my dream.”
Besides Pushpa Basnet, other CNN Heroes of the Year include a woman who teaches minorities how to swim, a veteran who trains vets for their own service dogs, and other nonprofits to help the poor and needy. What do you think about efforts by people like Pushpa Basnet? Do you know of anyone else in the world who you think deserved the reward more?