CRY America Calls for Support to Make Children’s Dreams a Reality

Ambassador Nirupama Rao presents a plaque to Professor Damodaran during the CRY Pledge 2015 Gala Dinner at The Taj Pierre in New York.
Ambassador Nirupama Rao presents a plaque to Professor Damodaran during the CRY Pledge 2015 Gala Dinner at The Taj Pierre in New York.

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): CRY- Child Rights and You America Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization that works to restore the rights of underprivileged children, especially in India, hosted its annual benefit dinner ‘Pledge 2015’ on May 8th, at The Taj Pierre, New York.

While India seems to hold the promise of being a potential engine of global growth with investments happening in manufacturing, insurance and other sectors, its children appear to be the most neglected segment, with the rights of children being vastly ignored. In 13 years of existence, CRY America’s work with 70 projects has resulted in 191,901 children being immunized, 104,972 child births registered ensuring them an identity, and 367 public healthcare centers activated. Further, 1,187 public schools have been activated and 498,738 children enrolled in public schools today.

Speaking at Pledge 2015, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America shared, “India has the largest child population in the world. Children have big dreams and given an equal opportunity, they can rise to their full potential and make their dreams come true. What we need is strong political and economic will to ensure children are part of our country’s growth.”

“We need to address the various factors that come in the way of children achieving their dreams. Even today, 50% of our children continue to die due to malnutrition. Over 10 million children are forced by circumstances to do forms of work, often in hazardous or exploitative conditions. Girl children are killed in infancy or even while they are still in their mother’s womb. CRY America has been able to reach out to 600,558 children, a feat that would not have been possible without the support of our donors, volunteers and grassroots partners,” she added.

Former Indian Ambassador to the US, Ms. Nirupama Rao at the dinner shared, “Gender is now mainstreamed into the national debate in India. This is a crucial development because it enables a clearer focus on the challenges that confront women and young girls today. The issues of security, freedom from violence, and empowerment for women are now imprinted on the national conscience.”

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Professor Aswath Damodaran, Kerschner Family Chair at Finance, Stern School of Business at NYU shared, “The best gift you can give a child, poor or rich, is hope, and there is not a better instrument for delivering hope than a good education. While the challenge of educating hundreds of millions of children in Asia is daunting, each of us can make a difference, and I hope that I can deliver that message”.

Also present at the event, Dan Nainan, Professional comedian, shared, “I’m honored to have been asked to be part of the event for CRY America. While the problems faced by children in India are certainly no laughing matter, I’m very much looking forward to doing my best to raise as much as we can to help these very deserving children have happier childhoods and get an education.”

Pledge 2015 was attended by a hundred high profile individuals from New York and New Jersey, who came together to partner CRY America’s work to benefit underprivileged children. Over $75,000 was raised at the event-valuable resources that will be directed towards funding several projects to ensure lasting change for children. The key speakers at Pledge 2015 were inspiring personalities including Ms. Nirupama Rao, Dr. Aswath Damodaran and Dan Nainan and the event was attended by prominent members of the South Asian community.

Paintings donated by famous Indian artists Murali Nagapuzha, Anu Kulkarni, Suresh Gulage, Abhang Balasaheb, Nitin Nangare, Arvind Kolapkar, an autographed bat and ball by Cricket legend Saurav Ganguly were auctioned at the New York dinner.

Since its inception 13 years ago, CRY America has enabled people to take responsibility for the situation of underprivileged children. Sunderlal concluded, “Your support will help us bring children’s dreams to life. It will allow us to continue to ensure many more children are able to go to sleep educated, healthy and protected. Your solidarity is needed today, more than ever.” She appealed for people to join CRY America as donors, volunteers and supporters and visit for more information.

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(Based on a press release)

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