Photos: Saving kids behind bars

Updated 1:20 PM EST, Fri December 7, 2012

Story highlights

Pushpa Basnet supports kids in Nepal so they don't have to live behind bars with their parents

Basnet was revealed Sunday night as the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year

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CNN —  

Pushpa Basnet, a Nepalese woman who supports children so they don’t have to live behind bars with their incarcerated parents, was named the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year on Sunday night.

Nepal is one of the poorest countries, and space is very limited in the few group homes affiliated with the government. So when a parent is incarcerated and no other guardian can be found, children have little choice but to live in prison as well.

Basnet, 29, is determined to give these children another option.

She started a home in Kathmandu where children can receive education, food, medical care and a chance to live a more normal life. She also runs a day care program for children who are too young to be separated from their parent.

“These children have done nothing wrong. They are simply caught in something they do not understand,” Basnet said during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and honored her and the other top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012. “We want to work with the government to bring them all out from of prison. And they deserve a better future.”

Since 2005, Basnet has helped more than 140 children through her nonprofit, the Early Childhood Development Center.

Basnet was chosen as Hero of the Year through a nine-week public vote held on For being named CNN Hero of the Year, she receives $250,000 to continue her work. That is in addition to the $50,000 that each of the top 10 Heroes are receiving.

See the full story on Basnet here:
A lifeline for kids growing up in Nepal’s prisons