Today, India has over 33 million child laborers between the ages of 5 to 18 years old. These are children who dream of completing their education but do not get the opportunity to do so. Instead of going to school, they often work as child laborers in brick kilns, tea gardens, construction sites, manufacturing plants, cotton fields, firecracker and matchbox factories, and as domestic help.

As child laborers, not only do they end up sacrificing their dreams but they are also extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Their health suffers as a result of the hazardous conditions they work in and without an education, they are condemned to a life of poverty.

Help us raise $10,000 to take 2,097 children out of child labor and send them back to school. Your contribution will give happier childhoods to those who need it the most.

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Children are dreamers and their ambitions go unfulfilled when they’re forced to leave their school books and pick up the tools of a child laborer instead.

Child laborers work in dangerous conditions causing cancer, asthma, disabilities and skin ailments. Many of these diseases cripple them for life.

Child laborers are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse, child trafficking and physical assault, leaving them permanently scarred.

We work with marginalized communities to educate them about the ill effects of child labor on children.

We take children out of child labor and enroll them in school instead to help them build a better future.

We help children stay in school to break the cycle of poverty and ensure that their future generations do not fall prey to child labor again.

Your contribution could be the difference between children going to school or toiling away at work in hazardous and unsanitary conditions. Help us raise $10,000 to take 2,097 children out of child labor and send them back to school!

YOU can change their destiny - give today!

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The Red Lights Couldn’t Stop Payal From Moving Forward!

“I am on cloud nine right now. So many people are telling me that I am an inspiration for many. But when I look back, it was not easy,” says Payal, a resident of Nilmoni Mitra Street in Kolkata which is at the heart of one of Asia's largest red-light districts - Sonagachi.

When Payal was very young, she used to go to school. However, when her father died, her mother was forced to move to Sonagachi and take up prostitution just to make ends meet. Payal had to leave school behind, was pushed into child labor and, even though she had nothing to do with her mother’s profession, was constantly harassed by the people around her.

It was around this time that CRY America project SANLAAP heard about her plight and not only helped her stop working as a child laborer but also ensured that she went back to school instead. Payal immersed herself in studies and enrolled in Kung Fu to learn self-defense skills. She even earned a gold medal in one of the championships which she participated in!

She is currently studying hotel management at EDUSOL Hotel Management Institute and is determined to be successful and give her mother a better life. Payal's story shows us just how much is possible for a child when obstacles like child labor do not block their growth. However, there are still thousands of children who continue to go to work instead of school. You can help them learn not earn; donate to CRY America today!
Name has been changed to protect privacy

How You Helped Rohit Become A Military Police Officer!

Rohit comes from a single parent family – his father was a rickshaw puller in Bihar with severe health problems and was forced to stop working when his condition deteriorated. Left without any source of income, Rohit had to drop out in 10th grade and work as a security guard in Gujarat to make ends meet. His story would have come to a standstill right there… had it not been for YOU!

Thanks to your contribution, DEEP - a CRY America project in Bihar - was able to intervene and speak to Rohit’s father about how it would be beneficial for him to complete his education. They also advised him on the issues that children face as child laborers and how Rohit was at risk of being stuck in a cycle of poverty if he were to continue on this path. They even helped mobilize resources from his tribe's Traditional Governance Unit to fund his education!

Rohit went back to school, passed his exams and was accepted into the Bihar Military Police in 2018! Today, he is undergoing their training program and is full of dreams for a brighter future. “I’m excited about the opportunity to serve my country – this would never have been possible if I hadn’t gone to school!” he says.

Rohit’s story fills us with pride and hope and shows us the true power of a child’s potential! However, there are still thousands of children who continue to go to work instead of school. You can help them learn not earn; donate to CRY America today!

How You Enabled Sunita to Find Her Way Back to School

As the second eldest in a family of seven children, Sunita was forced to ‘grow-up’ at a young age. She used to attend school regularly, however, because her large family needed financial support, she dropped out of school when she was only 14 years old. Sunita used to watch her friends go off to school without her as she labored for small sums of money at nearby agricultural fields. The fields weren’t the safest of places, there were snakes, the risk of physical injury as well as the risk of sexual assault. Through her days in the field, Sunita held on to the hope that she would reunite with her friends one day and be able to attend school again.

Pragathi, a CRY America Project active in Sunita's village of Annaswami palli, Andhra Pradesh, found out about her. They heard about her through children’s collective meetings and reached out to her parents to build awareness with them. They discussed about the negative effects of child labor on their daughter’s wellbeing and future prospects. The Project workers counseled the parents on the special reservation schemes under the Right to Education Act (RTE). Understanding the ill effects of child labor and being able to avail government support helped change Sunita’s parents' minds. Today, she regularly attends school and enjoys every minute of it. "If I study well, I can take care of my family. I want to get a good job after school”, Sunita says.

Sunita is a a child with big dreams and is now one step closer to fulfilling them! However, there are still thousands of children who continue to go to work instead of school. You can help them learn not earn; donate to CRY America today!

From A Child Laborer To A National Science Award Winner!

Naveen Kumar’s story captures the kind of transformation you’ve enabled for children. Naveen who was a child laborer, turned young inventor after CRY America’s project PORD helped him get back to school with YOUR support! Today, he’s climbing to even greater heights–Naveen’s going to Japan as part of an exchange program for budding scientists!

“This would have been just a distant dream, if CRY hadn’t helped me re-enroll in school after I had to drop out in fifth grade. Today, I'm chasing my dreams and will be travelling to Japan to meet the brightest minds in science!” he says.

Just a few years ago, life had been very different for him. Naveen used to be a child laborer working at a tea stall in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. It was a life he would have continued to lead, had PORD (a CRY America project) not stepped in to help him discover his true potential.

With CRY America's intervention, Naveen was re-enrolled in school - where he nurtured his hidden passion for science. His desire to save his village from air pollution spurred him into thinking about low cost alternatives to wood fire stoves. And, an inventor was born!

After many persistent attempts, Naveen created a smoke-free and eco-friendly cooking device which is now being used widely by surrounding villages. The device has helped improve air quality in many local schools! The invention won Naveen the National Science Award from the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology! Naveen’s achievement is not only an inspiration to children at his school, but to all children who want to change the world through their big ideas! Today, he is inspiring more children as an Ashoka Youth Venturer – an international initiative to cultivate youth leadership. However, there are still thousands of children who continue to go to work instead of school. You can help them learn not earn; donate to CRY America today!

Seeing small children in rags begging on the streets in India is heartbreaking - yet giving them a few coins does not feel like a solution. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, but there are ways to help. I have been volunteering for CRY America in Boston for 10 years. CRY's unique rights based approach goes beyond charity and strengthens social structures that enable children to develop to their full potential. A lot has been done, but much more remains to be done.

Sanjay Yengul, CRY America Volunteer Leader, Boston

“Educating a child has a profound ripple effect. Not only will it improve a child’s life but that of its family, community and country leading to the overall enrichment of mankind.”

Anita Agarwal, CRY America Donor

“Children should have a busy life - playing with friends, eating healthy food, studying, growing themselves creatively and intellectually and showered with love. Instead, when children are asked to earn a living for themselves and their families, they're robbed of their basic human rights. We feel that for the cost of a birthday party a year you could change the future of a child. Then why not?”

Jigar Thakkar & Sangeeta Mudnal, CRY America Donors

Child labor ends childhood. You can help them learn not earn!

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CRY America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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 25,153 donors and over 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 716,386 children living across 3,755 villages and slums through support to 90 Projects in India and USA.