Good news sometime comes in small packages. Nepal had one recently when a 61-year-old brought smiles to every lip in the good-news-starved nation.
The reason for the proud grins was Anuradha Koirala, founder of Maiti Nepal, who returned to Kathmandu last week to a roaring welcome after being named the CNN Hero for 2010. The award was in recognition for saving nearly 12,000 girls and women from being sold to brothels in India or rescuing them from traffickers.
Koirala beat eight other contenders from across the globe in an online poll that lasted eight weeks.
The other heroes included India’s Narayanan Krishnan —the chef from Madurai who has fed 1.2 million hot meals to homeless and destitute.
Daughter of an Indian Army officer, Koirala spent her formative years in the hill station before coming to Nepal to take up a teaching job.
An abusive marital relationship and encounters with other suffering women made her start Maiti Nepal.
Every year, nearly 15,000 girls from Nepal, some as young as six years, are sold to Indian brothels. Maybe the award will raise awareness to end the scourge.