A little bit of help goes a long way!

Balamurugan is on top of the world. He has secured a job with IM Gears in Chennai and has received his first salary.

Born into the Arunthathiyar community, Murugan and his peers were constantly discriminated against at school. As they hailed from a community predominantly employed as manual scavengers, these children were expected to clean the latrines in their schools and fetch water and keep it ready in the toilets for upper caste students and teachers to use; because this was the job of their forefathers. This was one of the reasons that Human Rights Education and Protection Council (HREPC) rallied and opened up a separate school for the scheduled caste community in the vicinity.

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World Children’s Day: Empowering Young People for Global Development and Peace

The air is studded with the imaginary lines of blaze, the blaze of change and continuity. Life changes and never stops to embrace every phase you live through, in excellence or failure. But when you stop and stare, at your complex mind, there still remains some childishness hidden and embedded. While your life is moving faster and denser each day, and while you’re busy chasing your dreams, take off and cherish the child hiding in you for a day.

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No Dream is too Distant!

We often take education for granted. However, for a lot of girls in India, education is a distant dream. For a host of different reasons, girls across the country are forced to drop out of school.

But when given the opportunity to pursue education, girls can bring about a cycle of positive change. Not only do they stay away from early marriages and child labour, they also go on to become strong and independent members of the society. As they grow, they make better choices for themselves. Choices that only helps them transform and secure their lives but also grow up to become empowered women capable of influencing their communities for the better.

Jagruti’s story is a live testimony to that.

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The Sky is NOT The Limit!

“The path from dreams to reality does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get onto it and perseverance to follow it” -Kalpana Chawla

When Muthumanoranjini read about Kalpana Chawla as part of her English curriculum in Grade 11, she was in awe of the fact that a small town girl from her very own country was able to reach for the stars and get there too!

But she could still see some stark differences in her and Kalpana Chawla.  For someone who is part of the Arunthathiyar community, she was constantly being told by society that her community was meant to do only one thing – manual scavenging. In an attempt to break free from it, her parents, with the support of CRY supported Human Rights Education and Protection Council (HREPC), found alternative professions.

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From a dropout to a role model!

The line goes – “When you educate a man, you educate an individual and when you educate a woman, you educate an entire family” – and in fact, education is the only tool with which a girl or a woman can empower herself and eventually her family.

However, in a country like India, poverty often decides whether a girl can continue her education or not. Such is Sumi Godsora’s story as well.

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From Fighting Depression to Being Herself!

13 year old Tithi is known to be the tomboy amongst her peer group. From the slums of south Dumdum Municipality, she lives with her father, grandmother and sister. Her mother left the family last year, leaving Tithi depressed and confused.

For someone already facing issues with peers for not conforming to the gender norms so prevalent in her society, her mother leaving was a big hit to Tithi. Tithi’s mother was the only one in her family who encouraged her passion for dance and left with a father who is detached from them and barely even sees them, her confidence in herself and her abilities dwindled. She was shy and unable to even ask doubts in the classroom.

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A Mother’s Take on Exclusive Breast-Feeding

‘It takes a village to raise a child’

This famous saying comes to my mind when I think about my exclusive breast feeding experience. It was not an easy one and required a lot of patience and perseverance, intake of proper nourishment and most importantly devoted time.

I had a very difficult pregnancy, where I was largely home-bound for the whole term. As a development professional and a child rights crusader knowing the benefits of exclusive breast feeding, I was determined to offer my child nothing but breast milk for first six months. The phase, though extremely fulfilling, wasn’t an easy one and I owe it to a lot of people who guided and supported me during the period.

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Need To Start A Holistic Discussion On Menstruation

It’s often discussed in hushed voices behind closed doors and locked windows. Boys are urged to explore, giggle and often pass sarcastic comments when the topic comes up, while girls are taught to avoid uttering the word openly in public. ‘Menstruation’ or  ‘periods’, a quite naturally occurring process, is thus marred by appalling misconception and disturbing superstitions .Yes, women ‘bleed’ for six-seven days every month, but in a country like India the physical pain that they have to undergo during the cycle is surpassed by the mental turmoil created by the society.

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