Social activist, Anuradha Koirala
Anuradha Koirala, also known as Dijju, was born on born 14 April 1949. She is one of the most famous social activists in Nepal. She is the founder and director of Maiti Nepal which is a non-profit organization in Nepal, dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.
She received her educated at a hill station in Kalimpong, India. It was here that the Mother and Sisters at St. Joseph Convent School further increased her devotion towards social work and increased her motivation to contribute to the society. She even spent more than 20 years teaching children at various schools around Kathmandu.
Ms. Koirala was herself the victim of violence throughout her married life. She finally had the courage to leave her husband and inspired to become a social activist.
In 1993, Ms. Koirala founded Maiti Nepal with the aim of providing services for both children and women who have endured untold pain and suffering, often in silence. Mother Teresa has always been her largest source of inspiration.
Having started Maiti Nepal 20 years ago, in a small house in Kathmandu with her own savings, today Koirala is a widely recognized activist and lecturer who has dedicated her life to combating the trafficking and exploitation of women and children.
Now, Maiti Nepal has three prevention homes, eleven transit homes, two hospices and a formal school. More than 1000 children are receiving direct services from Maiti Nepal every day. It was all made possible with her firm determination and remarkable leadership.
Koirala has helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali girls and prevent 45,000 children and women from being trafficked at the Indian-Nepal border since 1993. Hundreds of offenders have been sentenced to jail through the joint efforts of Maiti Nepal and the police.
Maiti Nepal today conducts a wide range of activities. Organizing awareness campaigns, community sensitization programs, rescue operations, apprehending traffickers, providing legal support to the needy, women empowerment programs, trainings, providing anti retro viral therapy (ART) to children and women infected by HIV are regular activities of Maiti Nepal.
So far, Anuradha Koirala has been awarded 38 national and international awards in recognition of her courageous acts and achievements furthering the cause of children’s and women’s rights. Some of the national and international awards include; Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Medal- Nepal 1999, Trishaktipatta Award 2002, Best Social Worker of the Year Award- Nepal 1998, Queen Sofia Silver Medal Award 2007 etc. She was also declared CNN HERO OF THE YEAR in 2010.