Pushpa, 28, who has been nominated for CNN heroes 2012 award with nine others, has assisted more than 100 children of incarcerated parents since 2005.
She runs a day-care program for children under six and a residential home, an NGO, where mostly older children receive education, food, medical care and a chance to live a more normal life.
The social worker has already received USD 50,000 grant to further her cause and hopes to win the prize money of USD 2,50,000 and build more homes for the rescued children.
Recalling her first visit to the prison, Pushpa said, "I visited a prison as part of my college project. I saw a small 8-month-old child. I could not forget her and decided to do something. These children suffer for the crimes of their parents."
But it was not easy for Pushpa as her parents and friends were apprehensive for her.
"When I first talked about this to my parents, they were apprehensive because they thought I would be dealing with criminals. My father was really scared. I was just 21 and he did not want to send me there. But things have changed now."
Pushpa did not know that she had been nominated for the award until her name was announced.
"One of my friends, who was a class junior than mine, nominated me for the CNN heroes award. I came to know only later," she said.