Legendary actress Sharmila Tagore, Ernst & Young Partner Don MacNeal, Comedian Dan Nainan and Center 10 founder Roopa Unnikrishnan were the celebrity speakers at this year’s annual benefit dinner of Child Rights and You America Inc., in New York on June 10.
The Pledge 2016 event at the Taj Pierre in New York was attended by 40 high profile guests from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania who came together to support CRY America’s work to benefit children. Guests included Anita & Ajay Agarwal, Rupal & Harsh Patil, Roopa Unnikrishnan & Sree Sreenivasan, Roopam & Sanjeev Jain, HR Shah, Dr. Naveen & Rashmi Mehta, Sandeep & Nilima Jain, Sunil & Suman Bagaria, Arati & Srikanth Nagaraj, Meenakshi & Vikas Mahajan, Shikha & Mohit Bhatia, Reena & Samir Mathur, Kamal & Kirin Arora, Bobby & Jagruti Bansal.
Sharmila Tagore, who has been involved with CRY for over a decade said: “Lack of education and healthcare holds back the development of children. Together, we have a powerful voice and the resources to help organizations like CRY ensure that children have the right to live, learn, grow and play. Support CRY America and make a difference to a child’s life and your own.”
“CRY is doing a wonderful job in terms of rights of children. You must understand that marginalized children in India have hardly any right and since they have no voice we need to speak for them and to tell policymakers to prioritize their needs and their concerns, and we need to work more with support groups like CRY,” she said.
India has made tremendous economic strides in the last decade, but its children continue to battle deprivation of their rights. With their rights vastly ignored, millions of children are out of the safety net, forced into labor, malnourishment, abuse and illiteracy.
Shefali Sunderlal, President, CRY America said, “Only 54% of children complete their education in India due to obstacles such as child labor, child marriage, distance from schools and gender discrimination. CRY America works with grassroot projects, communities and local authorities to ensure children have quality education, healthcare and are protected from causes which hinder their development.”
“Investments in children are essential to a child’s and the communities’ well-being. Ensuring children get their due enables them to reach their full potential and realize their dreams. Thus far, CRY America has impacted the lives of 618,915 children living across 3,084 villages and slums through support to 70 projects. This has been possible only because of the support received from 25,000 donors and 2,000 volunteers across the USA,” she added.
Advisory Board member and NY Dinner Committee Chair, Anita Agarwal said, “All of us are here because CRY is important to us and we want to make a difference to children’s lives. Many of us have grown up in Indi awith CRY greeting cards and the poster of Raju carrying bricks. I will never forget Rippan Kapur’s [CRY Founder] passion for ensuring that underprivileged children get their due share of rights. Thank you joining me this evening and making Pledge 2016 for child rights a great success.”
The evening raised $110,000, which will be directed towards funding several projects that ensure lasting change for children. Items auctioned at the dinner included paintings donated by prominent Indian Artists Ram Kumar, Jehangir Sabavala, JMS Mani, Prakash Deshmukh, Pravin Utge and Deepa Vedhpathak; designer clothes donated by JJ Valaya, Sabyasachi and Anita Dongre; jewelry donated by Velvetcase.com, Raj Jewels and Amrapali; a cricket ball autographed by Saurav Ganguly, a baseball autographed by Bill & Hillary Clinton, Abbey Road Album autographed by the Beatles, among others.
CRY – Child Rights and You America Inc. (CRY America) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is driven by its vision of a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential and realize their dreams. With the support of over 25,153 donors and 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 618,915 children living across 3,084 villages and slums through support to 70 projects in India and USA.