While in Kathmandu last month I had the privilege of spending time with Indira Ranamagar.
She is a remarkable woman who received the 2014 World’s Children Prize Honorary Award for her 20 year struggle for children of prisoners in Nepal.
Prisoners Assistance Nepal (PA) was started as a grassroots organization in 2000 and extends a variety of support programs that include prison welfare visits, housing for rescued children, and aid for struggling families in communities across the country.
Indira was born into a low caste, poor family and fought to be educated. She knew early on that she wanted to help others and dedicated her life to rescuing children from horrible prisons in Nepal. The women who are sentenced and have no one else to care for their children and are forced to keep them with them in cramped, dirty cells.
When she rescues these children they are brought to one of her five boarding schools where they are housed, educated, and loved. Cooking, handicrafts and farming are taught along with academic subjects to help build worthwhile futures.
Indira lobbies politicians and authorities to make prisons more humane. She speaks out for those incarcerated, especially women and children,to be treated in a fair and humane way. She believes that poverty is the real reason so many are incarcerated.
Ever since the earthquake on April 25th she has provided a relief role to those in need and now houses an additional 75 children. The two babies in my photos were constantly attached her to hip! She took them everywhere we went, even to visit the men in prison.
Junkiri, the name of one of her schools, means “firefly” in Nepali. She told me she used to follow fireflies as a child and believes that every human being is born with a light inside them.
Spending several days with Indira was a special gift to me and I wanted to share this with you. If anyone would like more information, or is moved to make a donation, please let me know.