: Who We Are
: Origin Founder
Rippan Kapur - Origin and Founder of CRY
Rippan Kapur, the airline purser who founded CRY, was an ordinary person driven by an extraordinary dream - the dream that no Indian child would be deprived of rights as basic as survival, participation, protection and development.
Like all of us, Rippan got upset to see the disparities that exist 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. In his case, the action started young.
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 were to come in handy when Rippan and 6 of his friends started CRY with Rs. 50/- around Rippan's mother's dining table. That was 29 years ago, in 1979. 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."
Rippan died in 1994, at 40. CRY continues to grow.
Rippan's Interview - Excerpts from Rippan's last interview (1994), in which he discussed CRY, its past and its future with Shivani Maheshwari.