Sharmila Tagore,
Legendary Indian
Actor Calls for
Support to
CRY America
and the Cause of
Underprivileged
Children

New York, May 16th, 2011: CRY - Child Rights and You America Inc, a 501c3 non-profit organization that works to restore the rights of underprivileged children, especially in India hosted two benefit dinners in New York and Seattle. 'Pledge 2011' was held on May 13 at the Taj, The Pierre Hotel in New York and 'Uphaar 2011' on May 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan were the special guests at both events.

Pledge 2011 was attended by 150 people from New York - New Jersey and Uphaar 2011 was attended by 175 members from the western Washington community, who came together to partner CRY America's work to benefit underprivileged children. Over $215,000 was raised across both Dinner events, resources that will be directed towards funding several Projects that ensure lasting change in the lives of children.

The evenings included talks by Puja Marwaha, CEO of CRY India, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America and keynote addresses by Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan, renowned actors from India. Paintings by famous artists Ram Kumar, Murali Nagapuzha, Nitin Dadrawala and private lunches with Sharmila and Soha sponsored by Vermillion restaurant were auctioned by Sotheby's at the New York Dinner which raised $43,000.

"Indians living abroad are increasingly concerned with development in India, their voices are heard by policy makers and they have the resources to enable bigger changes. Our hope is that this community will join CRY America's efforts in larger numbers to ensure the rights of underprivileged children and help make this issue into a national and international priority. Events, such as Pledge and Uphaar, offer us a platform to amplify the voice of underprivileged children and garner support for the cause of children's rights, said Shefali Sunderlal, President, CRY America.

Sharmila Tagore, legendary Indian actor and a supporter of CRY America said, "The basic difference between CRY and other organizations is that they involve the parents and the entire community towards impacting the child. Community groups of women, men and children are made aware and empowered to tackle their own problems, instead of outsiders coming to 'help' them. CRY's approach of ensuring child rights is a holistic concept, which ensures change that lasts for generations to come. This is why I support and believe in CRY."

Speaking on the occasion, Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY (India) said, "Millions of children across India are excluded from education, healthcare, protection from exploitation and abuse. CRY is an organization with grassroots experience that understands and works on causes that exclude children from their rights. We address the large-scale problems that affect children, including lack of livelihoods for parents, healthcare, child labor and gender bias."

Soha Ali Khan, popular Indian actor, also present at the dinners shared, "I strongly believe that all girl children should be given the opportunity to quality education and encouraged to have a career of their choice, just like I did."

CRY America thanks its donors for their generous support, with a special mention to their Patrons - Ravi and Jaya Bhooplapur, Anu and Naveen Jain, Dr. Ganesh Bhat, Rotary Club of Hicksville and Intellius. CRY also thanks its media sponsors for their support - Zee TV, Sudhir Parikh Worldwide, Rediff India Abroad and Mera Sangeet.

CRY America relies on its strong supporter base to spread awareness about its mission and goals. "The strength of our work comes from over 500 volunteers and 15,000 donors who give generously of themselves to help spread awareness on children's issues and raise financial resources. If we all come together and address children's issues with a sense of urgency, then no child will remain illiterate, hungry or malnourished," Sunderlal concluded.

"Poverty, hunger, child labor and lack of education among the youth continue to be prevalent in India. As a leader in the South Asian Entertainment space, Zee has the responsibility to help raise awareness about these issues among the South Asian Diaspora through offering support to CRY America and helping their events gain visibility," said Suresh Bala, CEO Asia TV USA Ltd.

To know more about CRY America, please contact Steshia Monserrate at steshia.monserrate@crymail.org or 617-959-1273.

About CRY America:
CRY - Child Rights and You America Inc. (CRY America) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is driven by its vision of a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential and realize their dreams. With the support of over 500 volunteers and 15,000 donors, CRY America has impacted the lives of over 358,000 children living across 1,916 urban, rural and tribal communities in India and the USA through support to 52 Projects. For more information: visit http://america.cry.org/ or write to support@cryamerica.org

CRY America is the sole representative of the CRY name & trademarks in the USA. CRY America is a 501c3 registered
organization and all donations to CRY America are tax-deductible.
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