Born on 14 April 1949 to Colonel Pratap Singh Gurung and Laxmi Gurung, Anuradha Koirala was brought up in a family that regarded providing services for humankind as the best form of pious work. She studied in Saint Joseph Convent School, Kalimpong, India which helped in blooming her budding desire to devote herself to the social work.
For more than twenty years, she taught English at various reputed schools of Kathmandu. Mother Teresa has been a biggest source of inspiration to initiate a mission for the betterment of humankind. Therefore in 1993, Ms. Koirala found MAITI NEPAL with the aim of providing services for both children and women who have endured untold pain and suffering, often in silence. Children, girls and women were being trafficked within and from Nepal for commercial sexual exploitation. She set up Maiti Nepal with a vow to put an end to this heinous crime.
After establishing Maiti Nepal, she plunged into the service of humanity. Her first work was setting up of a rehabilitation home so that she could provide shelter the most needed. Now, Maiti Nepal has three prevention homes, nine transit homes, two hospices and a high school. More than one thousand children are getting direct services everyday. She made it possible with her firm determination and unprecedented leadership.
Maiti Nepal today conducts a wide range of activities including awareness campaigns, community Sensitization, rescue operations, Apprehending Traffickers, providing legal support to the needy, women empowerment programs, providing anti-retro viral therapy (ART) to children and women infected by HIV.
So far, Anuradha Koirala has been honored with 30 national and international awards in recognition of her courageous acts in fighting for children’s and women’s rights. Some of the international awards include German UNIFEM Prize 2007, Queen Sofia Silver Medal Award 2007, The Peace Abbey, Courage of Conscience 2006 etc. Her achievements include liberating twelve thousand girls from brothels, providing ART before the government of Nepal could initiate this process. Due to her continuous struggle, Government of Nepal recognized 5th September as anti–trafficking day. This endeavor was initiated by Maiti Nepal. She was also appointed as a state minister as an honor to her contributions.
Ms. Koirala loves spending time with children, they say that they get a warmth of mother and a father. She is self motivated person relishing new and dynamic challenges with a leadership role if required in a team environment or independently.
On 25th November 2010, she was declared as CNN Hero of the year through global on-line voting . This honor to the daughter of Nepal is a pride and honor to the nation itself.
– Anjali Shalgar