CRY Demands Justice for Indian Children: Changes Name to Child Rights and You

Noted activists Jean Dreze and Aruna Roy support this appeal to make child rights a national priority

New Delhi, March 30, 2006: In a move to draw national attention to the alarming state of child rights in India, CRY along with Jean Dreze (economist and Right to Food activist) and Aruna Roy (Magsaysay awardee, NAC member and Right to Information activist) is holding a meet in New Delhi today.

Here, CRY will announce the change of its name to Child Rights and You to stress its commitment to the fact that ALL children have equal rights, promised to them in our Constitution and in international treaties. Rights that almost 60 years after independence remain a distant dream for millions, as more than half of India’s children remain malnourished, less than one in two goes to school and at 95 per 1000, infant mortality in India is higher than that of countries like Bangladesh – comparable only to Sub Saharan Africa.

At this meet, CRY CEO, Ingrid Srinath will speak about the Child Rights Charter that CRY will present to the President of India. The Charter lists moves necessary to ensure the rights of all children in India – changes in policy, law, thought and action that can make the world’s largest population of children look forward to a joyful childhood.

Highlighting the efficacy of this path, Dreze will elaborate on the Right to Food campaign, while Roy will talk about the leanings from the Right to Information movement.

Ila D Hukku, CRY Director Development Support will show how CRY has actualised the Rights mode and CRY partner, RB Pal will present a case study.

28 years of CRY’s work with 2,500 marginalised communities across 20 states in India, has shown that the piece-meal, scheme-based, relief-oriented approach adopted by both governmental and non governmental organsiations has limited impact and practically no sustainability. This is because they fail address the underlying root causes of deprivation. Causes related to gender, caste, ethnicity, religion and class keep over 100 million Indian children hungry, unschooled and vulnerable to the worst forms of abuse and exploitation imaginable.

CRY has seen that lasting change is possible if child rights issues are addressed holistically. Says Srinath, “In thousands of villages and slums across the country, communities now understand the laws and policies that guarantee their rights and feel empowered to ensure them. Families have viable livelihoods, government schools and health centres are functioning and girl children have become the flag bearers of their communities.”

About CRY:
CRY now Child Rights and You is India’s leading advocate for child rights. Over 28 years, CRY has partnered NGOs, communities, government and the media to eliminate the root causes of deprivation, exclusion, exploitation and abuse.

For further information:
CRY: Meenakshi Kohli: 9811600941
IPAN:Aparna Srivastava: 9811234594