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CRY – Child Rights and You

CRY stands for Child Rights and You. CRY is an Indian non-government organisation (NGO) that works towards restoring basic rights to underprivileged Indian children. CRY was started by seven young people in December 1978. One of them, an airline purser called Rippan Kapur, was the moving spirit behind the whole thing. Their objective – to do what they could to improve the situation of underprivileged Indian children. Their first office – Rippan’s mother’s dining table. Unusually, the founders of CRY chose not to found a grassroot-level implementing organisation working directly with and for underprivileged children. Instead, they opted to make CRY a link between the millions of Indians who could provide resources and the thousands of dedicated fieldworkers struggling to function for lack of them. They saw their role as enablers and in so doing created an institution that is a unique model of a community movement that takes responsibility for its weakest and most vulnerable members and motivates and catalyses change on their behalf.

CRY focuses on the 4 basic rights of children. These were defined in 1989, by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, on international human rights treaty to which 191 countries, including India, are signatories.

  • the right to survival – to life, health, nutrition, name and nationality.
  • the right to development – to education, care, leisure, recreation.
  • the right to protection – from exploitation, abuse, neglect.
  • the right to participation – to expression, information, thought and religion.

CRY works to ensure that these rights are available to all categories of underprivileged children, including street children, girl children, children bonded in labor, children of commercial sex workers, physically and mentally challenged children and children in juvenile institutions. 25 years after it began work, CRY has made a profound difference to the lives of more than 1.25 million Indian children, by channelising the resources of over 100,000 individuals and organisations. In doing so, it has shown that lasting change happens when individuals believe it can happen and do what they can to make it happen.

Mission Statement

To enable people to take responsibility for the situation of the deprived Indian child and so motivate them to confront the situation through collective action thereby giving the child and themselves an opportunity to realise their full potential.

Core CRY Principles

Children, individuals and communities can and must determine their own futures.

Ensuring access to quality social infrastructure and services is a key State responsibility.

  • Sustainable change requires.
  • constructive engagement with all stakeholders.
  • and multi-layered interventions that simultaneously address service delivery, community capacity building, networking and advocacy.
  • Accountability, transparency.
  • Secularism.
  • Non-violence.

How We Work: Development Support

We adopt an angel investor / social venture capitalist approach to grant-making. That means we look for promising, nascent, grassroots NGOs and provide the financial, managerial, informational and networking inputs required to help them achieve scale and sustainability. These include project-planning, financial management, material requirements, perspective-building programmes, baseline data establishment, organisational development, training for skill building, information support, and developing promotional material. Since inception, we have enabled more than 300 child-development initiatives across the country, thereby making a lasting impact to the lives of over a million children.

What We Do: Nature of Support

With the NGOs we support, we see our role as that of a partner. Each infusion of funds is accompanied by the non-financial inputs like in training, materials, infrastructure, organization development and moral support. Our partnership takes the form of

Direct Action : Working with children, their parents and the community in which they live to ensure long-term viability by encouraging community ownership of the initiative.

Building capacities : Providing inputs in the areas of organisation building, programme development (especially with locally relevant tools), training, and perspective building in child rights and accountability.

Networking : Bringing together organisations and individuals working in the same area, so as to enhance their collective impact.

Influencing: Playing an effective role in influencing government policies towards child rights.

This enabling position has determined our strategic choices at every juncture from the fundraising methods we employ, to the nature of our relationship with the NGOs we partner.

How We Work: Networking

To encourage CRY partners to share what they know and learn what they don’t, we have proactively set up networks which function at various levels to enhance solidarity, enable the transfer of learning, increase the effectiveness of policy influencing efforts and establish standards in the area of public accountability.

We also work with other NGO’s at the regional, state and national level on issues related to children. We have been the prime mover in forming state-level networks of organizations working for children’s rights in Maharashtra, Orissa, West bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. We are also part of many state and national issue-based alliances like the Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL). End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT), Donor Agency Network (DAN) and the National Alliance for the Fundamental Right to Education (NAFRE).

How We Work: Influencing Policies

While we consider the state to be primarily responsible for ensuring the rights of children, we realise that we too have a role to play in impacting policies on issues related to children. We are consultants to the government for pre-funding and mid-year evaluation for projects for street children in the five metropolitan cities. In the future we will be collaborating with the government on Member of Parliament Sensitisation programmes and building of an MP’s Forum on Child Rights. We also plan to work with various levels of Government to promote a comprehensive Child Rights Act/Law for India and the formation of a strong Child Rights Commission.

Quality Institutional Care and Alternative for Children

Most of us believe that children in institutional care are there because they are orphans or have been abandoned by their parents. In reality, most of them have both or at least one parent. Poverty, illness, an unsafe environment, inadequate schooling facilities, lack of access to education … all these are factors that make parents seek institutional care for their children. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children seeking and entering the institutional system.

CRY’S Approach

Prioritise grant-making basis-district-level analysis of child rights indicators.

Identify grassroots NGOs/CBOs addressing the key issues.

  • Build perspective and capacity
  • Child rights
  • accountability
  • organisation building
  • policy analysis
  • advocacy

Design intervention to include

  • direct action ameliorating immediate, critical needs
  • community mobilisation linking child rights and local pre-dominant issues
  • interface with local government and other power structures
  • alliances with state, regional, issue interest groups
  • stringent planning, monitoring and evaluation both, financial and programmatic

Partnerships: Implementing Organisations

CRY-partnered development initiatives work in the area of child rights at the grassroots level and include both individuals and organizations.

Individuals: The kippon Kapur Fellowship programme launched in 1994, highlights the under-lying philosophy of CRY – that individuals can and indeed, do make a difference in changing what needs to be changed. Since its existence this programme has created a whole cadre of development professionals working at the grassroots level on various issues affecting children.

Organisations : We support implementing organisations across India that work directly with underprivileged children, their communities and local government bodies; encouraging them towards community ownership of the initiative to bring about lasting change in the lives of our nation’s children. This is particularly critical where both, society and government institutions are still plagued by elements of feudalism, caste, ethnicity and religion.

Our team of qualified professionals, from the development sector responsible for the selection, appraisal, monitoring and evaluation CRY-partnered initiatives.

Criteria for supporting an initiative

  • focus on children.
  • focus on nascent initiatives – grassroots or urban.
  • Priority to projects in areas where no other projects/facility.
  • Vision, commitment, approach to work of the project partner.

Project concepts should empower the community in which they work, the parents and ultill make an irreversible change to the lives of children.

Process for selection and appraisal

Fill or send an application as per our format covering details like the objective of the initiative, partner’s background, experience on the field, financial details etc.

Our branch screens and short lists these application.

A pre-funding, evaluation.

An internal discussion on the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.

Recommendation by the Development Support team at branch and head office levels.

Approval by our Board of Trustees.

The office in India

CRY-Child Rights and you- Delhi : DDA Slum Wing (Barat Ghar), Kotia Mubarakpur, New Delhi 110 003.

7cS: 24693137.4790/3159. Fax: 24632302m E-mail: [email protected]

Mumbai: 189 A, Aisand Estate, Sane Guaiji Marg, Mumbai 400 011, Tel : 23096845/6472, Fax: 23080726,

E-mail: [email protected]

Bangalore: Madhavi Mansion, 12/3-1, Bachammal Road, Cox Town, Banpalore 560 005, Tel: 25484952/ 8574, Fax: 2547355, E-mail: [email protected]

Chennai: 57/2P.S. Sivaswamy

Salai (Sullivan Garden Road), Mylapore, Chennai 600 004. Tel : 24996984/24671828, Fax: 24672407,

E-mail : [email protected]

Kolkata : 511, Jodhpur Park, Kolkata700 068 Tel : 24148118/8055, Fax : 24148030, E-mail : [email protected] Website: