About CRY America
Imagine pulling out your child from school just because you are unable to find a job that pays enough to support your family.
Imagine your daughter could not attend school just because it has no toilets.
Imagine entire generations of your family being born into bonded labour, with no hope of breaking free.
Imagine a country. Call it India, if you will, where 10,000 Indians died from entirely preventable causes.
Outrageous? Yet 10,000 children die every single day in India. More than in any tsunami, flood, earthquake, famine or war. Half of India's children are deprived of their fundamental right to education every day. Two million Indian babies die each year before they celebrate their first birthday. Millions of India's children go to bed each night hungry, hopeless and angry. We as a nation, seem quite content to tolerate this violation of their constitutional rights. It is because of this reality that CRY - Child Rights and You, America exists today - to amplify the voice of children.
We believe that children are citizens in their own right, entitled to the full spectrum of human rights. At CRY America, we do not believe in charity. Nor do we run schools, orphanages or dispensaries. Instead we partner grassroots-level NGOs working with children, their parents and communities. Several years of working with and for children have taught us that resources have little to do with it. In over 2500 villages and slums across 18 States, we have witnessed transformational change happening. All it takes is communities becoming aware of their rights and coming together to ensure them. Not just by enrolling children in schools but by addressing the root causes that keep them hungry, illiterate, exploited and abused. Causes like gender, caste, livelihoods and displacement. None of these micro-miracles would have been possible without people like you coming together from all walks of life who believe in the rights of children. Over 1,500,000 children across India have opportunities they could not dream of because you chose to make them happen. The grim reality, however, is that despite all these many small triumphs within CRY America's reach the outlook for most of India's underprivileged children will not change on a significant scale. That will require much more. It will require that we, start thinking of children, not as objects of sympathy, but as citizens with the same rights that we consider our due.
That we believe, really believe, that every child, regardless of birth and circumstances is truly equal. That we realise the policies and the everyday choices we make, must seek to address the root causes of children's problems not just their superficial manifestations.
Finally, we must all - as voters, parents, teachers, investors, neighbours, businesspersons, lawyers, consumers, activists, students, judges, administrators, journalists and politicians alike - overcome our apathy, cynicism and sheer inertia and reconfigure our priorities to put children first.
In a nutshell, CRY America believes that the rights approach is the only one that works. And because the alternatives are not just ineffective but illegal and unjust. To highlight our belief in justice for all India's children and enlist support for this transformation, we now changed our name from Child Relief and You to Child Rights and You. Do write or call us to know more on child rights or share with us your suggestions, comments and queries. It's the only way we'll know how you feel about India's children.