A CRY for the New Year…..

KidsIt was one of my closest friend’s birthday parties. Ironically, she was late and I had to wait for her in the mall. After exchanging a few messages I reached the conclusion that she would take a while to get there. I was almost broke and completely repelled by the idea of window shopping, and hence I decided to pay a visit to the Archies store. Being blessed with an artistic side myself, I love seeing the colorful cards with the beautiful paintings and images. It provides me with some sort of stimulus, a boost to the creative impulse inside me. After going through a majority of the eye-catchy cards with their hilarious messages, I came across a section which lacked the gleam and glitter of the other cards. They seemed to reflect some kind of sobriety. This was the CRY cards segment. To provide you with a brief introduction of CRY, it stands for ‘Child Rights and You’. The organization was created to empower children and to provide them with their fundamental rights. It does not believe in charity or in running schools, orphanages or dispensaries. Instead it aims at working with grass-root level NGOs, children, their parents and communities to ameliorate the lives of children. The facts relating to the lives of children in India are compelling!!! 10,000 children die everyday in India, which is more than in any tsunami, earthquake, flood or war. More than half of India’s children do not have access to education. Two million Indian babies die each year before reaching the age of one. Millions go to bed each night hungry and hopeless for the future. Each dawn just adds to their miseries; there is no glimmer of light in their lives. Thus, in the age where India boasts of a growth rate of 9%, the conditions of many are outrageously deplorable !!! These children are the future of our nation, its very life-line. Thus, future growth has to be inclusive of them, not exclusive. Thus, CRY aims at ensuring the rights of children by addressing the root causes of malnutrition, illiteracy and exploitation. These CRY cards are their messengers of hope. They create awareness among people about their duty to protect these children. Thus, even if people cannot directly contribute to the lives of these children, they can atleast make a slight difference by buying these cards. Proceeds from the sale of these cards go towards child development projects.Thus, this is a concern which requires the combined effort of people from all walks of life. These children do not require our sympathy. What they need is to be provided with the basic entitlements for a healthy living. They have an equal right to experience the pleasures of childhood. Schools provide them with economic opportunities however these cannot be harnessed on an empty stomach. Thus, Cry provides these children with an enabling environment to attain their full potential. This is a question of social responsibility!!! Thus, buying such cards not only provides you with material fulfillment, but also mental satisfaction. Never mind the shortage of money; I had to buy atleast one of those cards. I was too overwhelmed!!! The ‘bling’ atmosphere of the remainder of the shop seemed to fade away in the background. The thought of bringing a smile on a child’s face was beyond any artistic impulse. It was a humanist inclination, a sacred duty!!!Thus, after we have made our high-sounding resolutions for the New Year, each of us must resolve to make a difference in the lives of the many that are yearning for a soft touch, a glimmer of hope… Sukanya Garg