Urmi Basu

Urmi Basu is featured in the second night of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.


Urmi Basu is the founder of New Light, a secular nonprofit charitable trust that operates as a creche-cum-night-shelter to protect and educate young girls, children and women at high risk in a red light area of Kolkata, India.


Basu is a well-educated, middle class woman who was born in Kolkata. She credits her parents with raising her with a great deal of freedom and a strong sense of her own social responsibility.

After her second husband expressed discomfort with the work she was doing and the issues she was talking about, Basu left the marriage. Using her own savings, she founded New Light in 2000. Her goal is to support and educate these children, particularly the girls, and provide opportunities for them beyond the red light district.

Want to help?

Volunteer at New Light, an organization in Kolkata, India that is dedicated to providing educational opportunities, recreational facilities, healthcare and legal aid for the children, girls and women impacted by forced prostitution in the local red light district, Kalighat. Or, sponsor a friend to volunteer. Contribute skill sets in teaching, legal aid, HIV/AIDS care, nursing, research -- you name it. 

Send cold medicine, pain relievers, and other over-the-counter drugs to New Light. Urmi and her colleagues need better access to these medicines so they can administer them more effectively to sick members of the Kalighat community. All packages can be shipped to this address.