In a star-studded ceremony Saturday night at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Anuradha Koirala was named the 2010 CNN Hero Of The Year, after nearly two million votes were cast at CNNHeroes.com. Actress Demi Moore introduced Anuradha Koirala (pronounced anoo-RA-da core-A-la) as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes; host Anderson Cooper announced Koirala as the CNN Hero Of The Year at the end of the evening, after a powerful performance by Grammy Award-winning band Sugarland. Each Top 10 CNN Hero received US$25,000, and Koirala’s organization, Maiti Nepal, will receive an additional US$100,000.
Anuradha Koirala is fighting to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Nepal’s women and girls. Her group, Maiti Nepal, has facilities throughout Nepal and India, with its main campus in Kathmandu. Roughly translated, Maiti means “Mother’s Home.” By raiding brothels, patrolling the India-Nepal border and providing safe shelter and support services, Koirala and Maiti Nepal have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali women and girls since 1993.
Koirala was voted CNN Hero Of The Year from among the Top 10 CNN HEROES, who were all honored at Saturday’s event. Celebrity presenters included Halle Berry, Kid Rock, Renee Zellweger, Jessica Alba, Marisa Tomei, Gerard Butler, Kiefer Sutherland, Aaron Eckhart, and LL COOL J. Bon Jovi, Sugarland and John Legend featuring Common & Melanie Fiona each performed.
CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, hosted by Cooper, will air globally on CNN on November 26, at 6:30 am IST with a repeat at 3:30 pm IST. The CNN HEROES gala is the only show of its kind – bringing out Hollywood’s brightest stars to honor everyday people changing the world.
Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes is a multiplatform campaign that shines a spotlight on individuals who go to extraordinary lengths to serve others; in 2010, the campaign received over 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries. The Top 10 CNN Heroes were selected by an esteemed Blue Ribbon Panel, which included, Muhammad Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, and Ricky Martin among other humanitarians.