Indira Ranamagar: the woman who helped 2,000 Nepalese children get out of prison

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Indira Ranamagar, a woman working for 33 long years for the welfare of prisoners and their children, said the system in Nepal as a country is not designed for the poor and her fight for security social and fundamental human rights, especially for children, Continue.

Ranamagar is the founder of the Prisoner’s Association (PA) Nepal, under which she rescues children who are forced to live with their incarcerated parents in prison. The majority of the children in her three households are girls who, after being rescued, have the opportunity to receive an education.

Often when people are sent to jail, they have no choice but to bring their children with them or they will end up homeless.

Indira runs 15 residential homes with 500 children and some schools all over Nepal and aspires to make it all Nepal. For 33 years, she has helped children in small, poor communities and has so far rescued over 2,000 children.

When WION visited one of her residences in Kathmandu, she said: “The crimes are due to poverty.

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“Many innocent children I have rescued from jail. Even during the earthquake, children were left behind. During COVID, I took several children into my care. The government should have provisions for take care of them, but we don’t have any in Nepal. That’s my biggest struggle,” Ranamagar told WION.

“My heart aches to see innocent children forced to live behind bars without proper nutritious food or care with their doomed parents. When I first saw it, it was a heartbreaking moment and a turning point in my life. “, she added. .

According to the US State Department report on Nepal, some facilities held pre-trial detainees alongside convicted prisoners. Due to a lack of adequate juvenile detention facilities, authorities sometimes remanded children with adults or allowed children to remain in prison with their incarcerated parents. By law, children should only be kept in juvenile reformatories and not in prison.

Indira grew up in extreme poverty and had to struggle to go to school. Having faced challenges as a young girl, she decided to help others who had difficult lives.

However, she believes she had a privileged life: “When I look back on my life, I feel that I was very privileged after seeing these children behind bars. Even though I did not receive an education, I learned from nature. That’s what I want to give my children.”

From working for the children of prisoners and the vulnerable, Indira is now fighting for their citizenship.

“Many of these children’s mothers do not have nationality even after living for years in Nepal. So how can a child get nationality? Many of my children have good education and diplomas, but no nationality.”

To further help the children pursue their careers, Indira gave some children her identity.

According to the US State Department report, about 6.7 million people lacked citizenship documents, although the majority of them are eligible for citizenship under local law.

Jennifer Ranamagar, a 17-year-old girl born in a prison, was cared for by Indira when she was one day old.

“I grew up in this organization since I was a child. First when I opened my eyes I saw Indira amma (mother) I was happy but definitely I don’t know how I felt as a child .Later, as I grew up standing, she told me that she is not my mother and at that time I was sad. But no matter whether she is my mother or not, she loves me like hers. I am proud of Indira Amma. She still takes care of many other children,” Jennifer told WION.

The idea of ​​Ranamagar is to also focus on maintaining the relationship between children and parents. She visits prisons occasionally.

Indira says she receives no aid or funds from the government and raises funds through international organizations, individual donors and friends.

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