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Sapana Roka Magar Makes the List in BBC 100 Women 2020

Sapana Roka Magar, an 18 years old girl from Nepal has made the list on the BBC’s 100 Women 2020. Every year, BBC publishes the most influential and inspiring women’s list under the Knowledge, Creativity, Leadership, and Identity category from around the world. She has been placed under the knowledge category.

In 2019, Bonita Sharma, another young social activist from Nepal had made the list.

The BBC has published its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020. Those women who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times have been shortlisted in the list.

The list includes Bilkis Bano, 82 years who peacefully protested against a controversial citizenship law followed by Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland,  Michelle Yeoh, star of the new Avatar and Marvel films, and Sarah Gilbert, head of the research into a coronavirus vaccine at Oxford University.

Sapana along with Binaya Babu Basnet has been managing the unclaimed dead bodies from their organization. They are helping to perform the final ritual process of the dead bodies in the Pashupati Cremation Area. She was encouraged and helped by the social activist Binaya Babu Basnet. 18 year’s Sapana Roka Magar and Binaya have also been supporting helpless street people tirelessly during the Covid lockdown period providing food in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Who is Sapana Roka Magar

Sapana Roka Magar is originally from Mangala RM-4, Bukeni, Mgyagdi. She has been involved in an organization that cremates unidentified bodies. If the dead bodies unclaimed for 35 days, her organization brings them to the crematorium and performs the final ritual which is supposed to be performed by the son of the deceased.

Sapana Roka with dead body

Sapana Roka Cremating Dead body at pashupati
Sapana Cremating Dead Body @Pashupatinath

She passed the SLC (School Leaving Certificate) from Mahendra Ratna Secondary School in 2073. Then she moved to Beni and completed her +2. But due to the family problem, she could not continue her study. A few years back, Sapana also spent her days in the street after becoming homeless for three months. At some point in life, she tried to commit suicide, she says. After she moved to Kathmandu she met social activist Binaya Babu Basnet and inspired to do something for society. She then turned street girl to social activist and made the list on BBC. She believes that, if unidentified dead bodies are cremated, then their soul may rest in peace.

Currently, Sapana is living in Lalitpur and has a good relationship with her family.

What is 100 Women?

Every year, BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world. BBC creates documentaries, features, and interviews about their lives, giving more space for stories that put women at the center. The most influential women’s teams are shortlisted based on the suggestion of BBC’s network of World Service languages teams.

They look for candidates who had made the headlines or influenced important stories over the past 12 months, as well as those who have inspiring stories to tell, achieved something significant, or influenced their societies in ways that wouldn’t necessarily make the news. The pool of names is then assessed against every year’s theme. And according to the regional representation and due impartiality the final names are chosen.


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