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CRY's History

Way back in the 1970s, Rippan Kapur, a young airline purser, was driven by the extraordinary dream to see a day when no Indian child would be deprived of rights as basic as survival, participation, protection and development.

Like many of us, Rippan too was upset when he saw disparities between privileged and underprivileged children. He hated to see children begging and working as servants. Unlike most of us though, he did something about it.

He joined his school's social service club and read to the blind, visited children in hospitals, held reading and writing classes for street children, and started a free dispensary at a slum the club adopted. To raise funds for these activities, the club sold milk. It even won a shield for the best Interact club! These qualities of resourcefulness and determination would come in handy.

In 1979 Rippan and 6 friends started CRY with Rs. 50/- around his mother's dining table. They felt that something needed to be done to improve the situation of the underprivileged Indian child. Uncharacteristically, given their backgrounds and motivations, they chose not to found a grassroots-level implementing organisation working directly with and for underprivileged children. They opted instead to make CRY a link between the millions of Indians who could provide resources and thousands of dedicated people and organisations at the grassroots-level who are struggling to function for lack of them. This "link" or enabling position has determined CRY's strategic choices at every juncture - from the fundraising methods it employs, to the nature of its relationship with the NGOs it partners.

All through the early, difficult years, it was Rippan's passion and conviction that drove CRY. He was firmly convinced that each of us can, in our own small way, be agents of change, and when enough of us are moved to this, the impact is a lasting change for the better. All he asked of people was that they help CRY by doing what they were good at. As he put it, "What I can do, I must do."

Although Rippan passed away in 1994, his vision for underprivileged children ensures that CRY continues to grow.

Take a look at the highlights in CRY over the past 30 years.

Click here to view the Awards and Recognition won by CRY.

More than 30 years of change

2010's

New Vision and Mission statements, focusing on the rights of a child and the importance of collective action, towards ensuring child rights. 'Ensuring Lasting Change for Children' taken on as articulating the CRY brands essence.

"My School campaign" to showcase aspirations of children from CRY project areas launched as an exhibition.

First ever CRY Corporate Responsibility Summit launched to enhance engagement with corporate organisations.

CRY World moves from individual retail to processing only bulk orders. CRY partnership with Archies continues.

Participation in the development of the Alternate Report on child rights and the Ministry of Women and Child Development's strategic 5-year plan meeting.

One of the five organisations to win the South Asia Fund Raising Group's Fundraising Campaign Award 2011.

First ever CRY Child Rights Champion Awards launched to recognise corporate organisations demonstrating exceptional commitment to children's rights.

CRY Volunteers present KAP study on girl child at The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

CRY's Youth division changes to focus on ensuring children's voices are recognised as significant and unique in issues that affect them.

Policy, Research, Advocacy and Documentation (PRAD), a new function established at CRY, advocating for child rights and CRY's grassroots efforts in key advocacy platforms. PRAD's mandate is to provide technical support on policy, research and advocacy and knowledge management.

2000's

Fundamental Right to Education (NAFRE) founded by CRY, Pratham, the National Foundation of India, the National Law School of India, UNICEF, the Aga Khan Foundation and Save the Children Foundation (UK). The alliance advocates free and compulsory education up to the high school level.

A strategic partnership, with Archies Greetings and Gifts, to outsource manufacture and retailing of CRY products, augments CRY's reach and market share.

Citibank's Citi Junior Account programme launched - CRY gets a contribution each time a Citibank customer opens an account for their child.

Scope of activities broadens to include relief and rehabilitation support to those affected by the Gujarat earthquake, tsunami relief and the flood-affected families in Mumbai. The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry adopted CRY's Activity Centre model for disaster relief.

CRY participates in the UN General Assembly's Special Session for Children.

CRY-Child Relief and You America Inc. and Child Rights and You UK Limited formally registered

CRY is invited to present "The Impact of Globalisation on Child Rights in India", at the House of Lords, London.

Launched an Election Advocacy Campaign, develop a Children's Manifesto to coincide with CRY's 25th year celebrations in 2004.

A 7-hour CRY Telethon on Sony TV, to spread the message of Child Rights to almost 42 million homes in India on 26th January, 2005. It was India's first ever, interactive social responsibility show with celebrities and personalities from different fields appealed to audiences to contribute time or money towards changing children's lives.

Launch of the National Child Rights Research Fellowship. 325 applications received.

Volunteer Action makes a shift in its approach; moves from fundraising to engaging volunteers in activities.

Launch of CRYBuddies, a virtual space for children to listen, talk and interact.

CRY changes to 'Child Rights and You' in 2006.

CRY wins in the Large NGO category at Indian NGO awards 2007.

Online payment gateway introduced on www.cry.org

1990's

Rippan Kapur, CRY's Founder, passes away on 10 April 1994.

'Baal Sawaal' and 'Baal Dhamaal' programmes launched.

The first training workshop is conducted for teachers of CRY-supported projects in Maharashtra.

Scope of activities broadens to include underprivileged disabled children and disaster victims, free and compulsory education for all under 14 and child labour.

Outreach programmes extend to other states.

The Policy and Research Cell of CRY starts, to handle policy analysis, research, documentation and government interface.

CRY joins The National Alliance for Education, a strategic alliance to ensure accessibility of quality education for all children.

First export order comes in, from Gallerie Lafayette, the largest department store chain in France.

"Childwatch", our first media awareness project, is launched at a national level.

"Art for CRY" is staged again to commemorate CRY's 15th anniversary and to pay tribute to Rippan Kapur. "Remembering Rippan," the book and film, launched as tributes.

Release of The Indian Child book. It is a compilation of articles, facts, figures and help lines for children, with a focus on child rights and the status of children in India.

FACT '98 (Free-a-child today), CRY's first corporate quiz, is organised by CRY's Bangalore volunteer group, Friends of CRY. The quiz raises funds for the education and health care of 100 children for a year. And goes on to become an annual event.

Central Government awards CRY 100% tax deductable status.

A structured HR division and strategy for CRY is initiated. The International Cell kicks off. CRY goes online with our first website http://www.cry.org/

1980's

Greeting Cards division gets underway. Sanat Surti, a well-known artist and illustrator creates 2 designs. 30,000 cards sold.

Nirmala is hired as CRY's first employee; uses Rippan's mother's dining table as the "office".

Access to free and quality education becomes CRY's main focus in its partnership with projects.

Parisar Asha, CRY's first long-term education project, takes off. Its emphasis is on environmental education.

Education Sponsorship Scheme is introduced. For just Rs. 10, any individual can get involved in CRY's work.

School-to-School Programme is introduced to sensitise affluent children to the needs of the less fortunate. One boy sends his earnings, made from teaching origami, to CRY.

We take our first steps to corporatisation by setting up a corpus. It is a major step for an organisation that started with Rs. 50.

Corporate contribution scheme is introduced so that companies can make donations to CRY's Corpus.

The first CRY desk calendar is launched, with contributions from Indian contemporary artists.

CRY's 10th anniversary. We launch "Art for CRY" nationwide - 144 artists donate 180 pieces of work, with overwhelming corporate support.

CRY starts operations in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata.

1979

Rippan Kapur registers CRY as an Indian Charitable Trust. With 6 friends and Rs. 50/-

'Buy a Brick, Build a School', CRY's first event to sensitise privileged children towards those less privileged.

Rs. 1,14,000/- raised for the Shilpalaya Technical Institute which focuses on vocational training and foster care.

Numbers don't count. Even if we can change one life, it means a great deal to us.

Rippan Kapur
CRY Founder