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Budhaditya Bhattacharya

Basu Rai on his autobiographical account of childhood spent on the streets of Kathmandu

Basu Rai does not remember his mother. She abandoned him and his father when he was a few months old. For the next four years, all they had was each other, until his father passed away as well. As mourners gathered around the house, Basu, not yet old enough to understand what had happened, trickled out and never returned.

In his deeply felt and often moving autobiography, Basu, 26, writes of his childhood spent on the dangerous streets of Kathmandu, among orphans, rag-pickers and beggars – many of them his age.

Through his book (“From The Streets of Kathmandu”, a Vitasta publication), Basu hopes to throw light on these unknown faces, who are still stuck on the streets, ignored by their families and neglected by the government. “I am grown up, so now I can understand what I went through but I worry about people who are still there. I am lucky that I got help. There should be more people to help,” the author says.

Explaining how he came to write the book, Basu says, “I used to feel lonely and I couldn’t share my feelings. I used to write a journal to cure my loneliness. It took the form of a book.”