It's my absolute pleasure to announce that City Kids will be hosting Ashoka Fellow (and all around rock star) Indira Ranamagar here in Boston, on April 4th. Indira is the founder and chairperson of PA Nepal, an organization supporting Nepalese prisoners and their dependent children.
Nepal lacks the social infrastructure to care for the children of incarcerated individuals and, as a result, many children are forced to live in prison, or end up on the streets. PA Nepal aims to provide care, housing, and education for those affected children, as well as support and reintegration assistance for parents. Indira will be telling her amazing story the evening of April 4th, at the Brookline Teen Center located at 40 Aspinwall Avenue, Brookline, MA 02446. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available (please see details below).
Along with the City Kids team, I had the honor of visiting a PA Nepal facility, one of six now in operation nationwide, and to meet with Indira, the self proclaimed "Jungle Girl", who has built the organization from the ground up.
Born into poverty in rural Nepal, Indira was unable to attend school like her brothers and instead learned to read and write by practicing letters with a stick on the dust in her yard. After studying as much as she could from her siblings' school books, she was finally permitted to attend school and graduated at the top of her class from the local school. After her graduation, Ranamagar became a teacher and eventually moved to Kathmandu. As a young adult, she became interested with the work of Bishnu Kumari Waiba, or Parijat, a famed Nepali writer and social advocate who among other endeavors, fought for the rights of political prisoners in Nepal. Ranamagar joined Parijat's movement for prisoners rights and became well acquainted with the justice system in Nepal and the dismal conditions in its prisons. After Parijat's death in 1993, Ranamagar continued to visit prisons and provide basic necessities for prisoners, shifting her focus from political prisoners to impoverished and disadvantaged individuals often wrongfully imprisoned for petty crimes committed out of desperation.
As a result of her continued work with prisoners, Ranamagar founded Prisoners Assistance Nepal in 2000 to provide help to prisoners in jail, after their release, and to their family members. Since its genesis, Ranamagar has grown the organization to care for over three hundred children rescued from prisons in addition to providing services to prisoners in over seventy jails across the country.
In recognition of this work, the BBC listed her as one of their 100 Women during 2017.
Indira is among the most inspirational and driven people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and we are very excited for her to share her story with us here in Boston.
Indira's fight for basic human rights and decency for children and prisoners in Nepal is ongoing. Please help support her cause with a sponsorship and/or ticket purchase, and join us on April 4th to hear her inspirational story at the Brookline Teen Center.
- Michael Whalen
- John Bozarjian
- Mary Kate Whalen
- Stephen Davis
City Kids, Inc