KATHMANDU: When Basu Rai was abandoned when he was four years old, he had nowhere to go. Streets of Kathmandu became his home and he became one of capital’s many street children. He then became part of a lifestyle adopted by many street children — begging, pickpocketing, getting into fights, facing brutal attacks and exploitation. But in 1998, Child Workers in Nepal, an orgnisation working for the street children and child labourers, rescued Basu.

The same year, Basu was one of such rescued children to be in Geneva for the Global March against Child Labour. Children like Basu from 20 other countries were there. Later he went to New Delhi.

Time has really flown by, says Basu who is in Kathmandu to launch his book From the Streets of Kathmandu. It has been a decade and a half since he was rescued from the streets, and now he has become an author. Basu, who has chronicled his personal experiences as a street kid in his book, calls himself human rights activist and motivational speaker.

“I wrote this book to make people understand the lives of street children,” says Basu. “The other reason of writing this book is finding my mother,” adds Basu, who was left by his mother who wanted to pursue her career in modelling. “If she happens to read this book and remembers her love story with my father, she will recognise me as her son,” he says.

Basu currently lives in New Delhi, India. “I want to open shelter homes where children rescued from the streets can be kept,” he says.

He plans to stay in Kathmandu for about a week. “It feels as though I have come home,” he says. “I want to visit various places that I missed for 15 years.”

Source: The Himalayan Times (September 23, 2014)

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