New York, May 19th, 2012 : CRY - Child Rights and You America Inc, a 501c3 non-profit organization that works to restore the rights of underprivileged children, especially in India celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting two benefit dinners in New York and Seattle. ‘Uphaar 2012’ was held on May 5th, at Seattle’s Fairmont Hotel and ‘Pledge 2012’ was held on May 18th, at New York’s Taj, The Pierre.
Speaking at Pledge 2012, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America said, “Today as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of CRY America, we are really celebrating the 411,539 children in 2,254 villages and slums across India, whose lives have been irreversible transformed through our collective efforts. We thank our 17,000 generous donors, 2,000 committed volunteers and 56 dedicated project partners and media supporters without whom, this change would not have been possible.”
Pledge 2012 was attended by 110 people from New York and New Jersey, while Uphaar 2012 was attended by 120 members from the western Washington community, who came together to partner CRY America’s work to benefit underprivileged children. Over $220,000 was raised across both dinner events, valuable resources that will be directed towards funding several projects to ensure lasting change for children. The events were attended by prominent personalities, Bobby Ghosh, Sree Srinivasan, Maneet Chauhan, Anu and Naveen Jain, Akthar and Alka Badshah, Leena and Sunil Shah.
Painting donated by famous Indian artists M.F. Husain and Murali Nagapuzha, an autographed guitar by Paul McCartney, baseballs signed by President Obama and Former President Clinton, signed Beatles album along with a private brunch by Chef Maneet Chauhan were auctioned by Sotheby’s Priyanka Mathew at the New York dinner.
In its 10 years of existence, CRY America’s work with projects has resulted in 119,987 children being immunized, 76,821 children provided with regular health check-ups, and 364 public health care centers activated. Further, 1,089 public schools have been activated and 501 villages in India are free from child labor today.
Bobby Ghosh, TIME Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, called for the global Indian community to take an active role in addressing issues like health and education for children, especially in a growing world power like India. “Investment in quality education for children is not only essential for a child’s development, but also for the growth of society and countries. Economic growth cannot be sustained unless nations and societies invest in social parameters like education and health for their children,” he said.
Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan said, "There is a saying that it takes an entire village to raise a child. I feel that CRY is that village. Each one of us should do our best possible to support CRY America to raise these children who are the future of this world."
18 year old Priyanka Jain compared her life to an 18 year old girl living in India who was married at a much younger age and deprived of opportunities. “We have the same dreams," she said. "She just wasn't given the opportunity to fulfill them. But by supporting organizations like CRY America, we have the power to change that."
David Bloss, Knight International Journalism Fellow, called for journalists to play a key role in bringing children’s issues to the forefront.
Since its inception a decade ago, CRY America has enabled people to take responsibility for the situation of underprivileged children. Sunderlal concluded, “If we all come together and address children’s issues with a sense of urgency, then no child will remain illiterate, malnourished or exploited.” She appealed for people to join CRY America as donors, volunteers and supporters and visit www.america.cry.org for more information.