Non-availability of schools in or near the village is a primary reason for girls being away from their education. If schools are at a distance, families often force the girl child to leave education due to safety issues of travelling the long distance. Non-availability of public transport to the school is also seen as a hazard for the girls, forcing them to quit education.
Even the absence of simple facilities like boundry walls in schools and teachers stands in the way of a girl child’s education.


Exclusion on the basis of gender is one of the biggest barriers in universalizing elementary education. In general, at the national level, the number of girls enrolled in school is lesser than the boys. School drop-out rate amongst adolescent girls remains particularly high at 63.5%.
Girls are also considered more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, and are often not allowed to go to school because of this reason. Girls are often the first to be taken off schooling and put into household chores – like taking care of siblings, cleaning and cooking for the family. The sex ration of Girl:Boy in India in 2011 was 914:1000.


a. Only 18% schools in India have separate toilets for girls.
b. 11% schools don’t have toilets at all
c. 34% schools, the toilets were completely unusable or in a very bad conditions
Not having separate or functioning toilets in school results in the lack of privacy and security for the girl. It is one of the key reasons why girls are forced to drop out of school.

Source: Study conducted by CRY on the 3rd anniversary of the RTE in India


There are more than 5 million child labourers in India*. Irrespective of the data source, roughly 50% of all working girl child are girls.
19% of girl child employed work as domestic help and 90% working girl child are in rural India.**

Source: *National Sample Survey Organisation-66th Round 2009-10
** 7th All India Education Survey (2002)


Early marriages are associated with a number of health problems amongst adolescent girls. Most importantly, early pregnancy, which not only leads to a high risk of abortion but also causes severe health damage to the adolescent girls.
• 44.5% of girls aged between 20 -14 years at the time of the survey were married before the age of 18.
• One in every six women (~16%) aged 16 -19 years had begun child bearing. 12% had already become mothers and 4% were pregnant with their first child at the time of the survey.

Source: Status of girl child in India: An overview of the past decade (a study commissioned by CRY in 2013)

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Click here for Kishan's full story

Kishan takes the first step to a healthy and happy childhood!

Lack of vital nutrients, health problems, developmental challenges – these are just some of the serious issues caused by malnutrition. However, so many children overcoming them with the right support.
Kishan is one of these children. He is from the Sahariya tribe in Shivpuri, Rajasthan – a community which suffers from high rates of malnutrition. These problems are amplified by the inaccessibility of the area and the community’s limited knowledge on children’s nutrition.

When workers from CRY America Project Vikas Samvad Samiti (VSS) found out about Kishan, he weighed only 6 kgs. In order to treat him, they rigorously monitored him, connected him to proper nutritional support and consulted with specialists who prescribed a 21 day course of Mahamash Ayurvedic oil massage therapy – a treatment used by many locally to treat malnutrition. Gradually, his health began to improve.
Right after the therapy, his weight increased to 6.9 kg, and by September 2018, he had reached the healthy weight of 8.9 kg. Kishan’s mother Rangveel says:

“The VSS sisters (workers) have saved my son. I first thought it was just a regular illness and would go away by itself. However, later, I realized that that my child could lose his life.”

Children like Kishan’s lives have been saved thanks to supporters like you. You can help save many more from the serious effects of malnutrition – give now to make a difference.

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Click here for Rohit’s full story

From Child Laborer to Military Police Cadet

Unimaginable transformations are possible when a child is given a chance to discover their potential. This was the case for Rohit, a child laborer who is now a Military Police Cadet.
Rohit’s father was a rickshaw puller with ailing health—he could no longer support the whole family. The boy dropped out of Grade 10 and went to work as a security guard in Gujarat to help his family make ends meet.

When workers from CRY America Project DEEP found out about Rohit, they connected with him and his family and changed their minds about sending a child to work instead of school. They even helped mobilize resources from his tribe’s Traditional Governance Unit to fund his education. Soon after, Rohit returned to school.

Today, Rohit has passed his exams and has been accepted into the Bihar Military Police! In July 2018, he got their appointment letter and is now in their training programme. His feat is just one example of the immeasurable change you’ve helped create. Through your ongoing support, YOU can help more children like Rohit realize their true potential. Give today to make a difference.

About Project DEEP

  • 11,420 children covered/benefited through our programs
  • 6,189 children of ages 6-18 in schools
  • 234 children mainstreamed
  • 67 child laborers enrolled in public schools

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Click here for Priyanka’s full story

How a bus to school is changing Priyanka’s life!

Priyanka was passionate about school and wanted to study past Grade 10. However, the nearest high-school with Grades 11 and 12 was very far away and with limited connectivity to her village. Her family and community wouldn’t let her go out of fear for her safety.

Since Priyanka was not going to school anymore, the adolescent girl was continuously pressured by her family and community to get married due to their traditions.

When workers from Empowering the Girl Child (EGC) – Project Margadarshi heard about Priyanka and many other children like her, they took action and helped get a new bus route sanctioned for children in her area. With the increased connectivity and safety, Priyanka’s parents eventually allowed her continue going to school. In time, they even changed their minds about getting her married early thanks to the Project’s ongoing counseling.

Today, Priyanka is studying in Grade 12 and is also active in her children’s collective – protecting other girls in her community from child marriage and helping them stay in school!

About Empowering The Girl Child – Project Margadarshi

  • 2,333 children impacted
  • 1,118 children in school
  • 6 children’s groups formed/strengthened
  • 20 villages and slums impacted

Project Margdarshi in Chikodi District, Karnataka, is a continuation of CRY’s efforts to empower children through education and awareness against negative cultural practices in the area. It was established by Anand Raj, who began work with children in Kalaburagi by registering the organization in 2002. Originally, the intervention focused on rescuing children from the Devadasi system- a practice very common to the region until recently. Margdarshi will now focus on upholding the immense progress made in eliminating the Devadasi practice while helping unlock the potential of children in these communities.

The project team is unique as it’s mostly run by marginalized women who were former Devadasis themselves. Ms. Shobha Gasthi, the project holder, was a Devadasi herself in childhood. She has faced discrimination, exploitation, and oppression by upper caste men as a result of being in the system from a young age. She has been a volunteer for the Devadasi Rehabilitation Project since 1996, as part of the Karnataka WDC (Women’s Development Corporation) program. The team is dedicated to ensuring younger generations are not affected by the system and have a chance at a brighter future.
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Click here for Kazal’s full story

The red lights couldn’t stop Kazal 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 Kazal Khatun, a resident of Nilmoni Mitra Street which is at the heart of one of Asia's largest red-light districts, Sonagachi.

When Kazal was young she lived in Barasat, West Bengal, and used to regularly go to school. However, when her father died her family’s fortune took a dramatic turn. Her mother had to choose prostitution just to make ends meet. They then shifted to Sonagachi, which had a devastating impact on Kazal. She had to leave her school, was foced into child labor, and though she had nothing to do with her mother’s profession, she would be judged and taunted by those around her. It was around this time that SANLAAP, a CRY America supported project in Kolkata, found out about the young girl and helped her pave her way to a better future.

SANLAAP worked to help remove the influence of the red-light district she lived in and provide an avenue to a better future through education. With counseling and assistance from the project, Kazal soon left child labor, rejoined school, and is now a 12th grader making strides towards her future. She also recently studied hotel management at the EDUSOL Hotel Management Institute, and has even won a championship gold medal in her life-passion of Kun Fu! Kazal’s story is evidence that, with the right support, children can rise above some of the most difficult challenges and build better futures for themselves. She is now an inspiration to many children like her.

About CRY America Project – SANLAAP

  • 1,643 children impacted
  • 1,233 children in school
  • 145 children enrolled in children’s groups
  • 36 child marriages prevented

SANLAAP was formally registered in 1989 and is now known internationally for its work related to changing situations of many children and young women who were trafficked within their own country and beyond borders for commercial sexual abuse and violence. Initially, its main focus was to work for girl children and women exploited by the sex trafficking industry. In coming years, SANLAAP also decided to involve itself in advocacy initiatives. Child protection is the prominent aim of the project. SANLAAP has four core areas of work, and accordingly designed its program to address four different issues: prevention of trafficking and sexual exploitation; prevention of second generation prostitution; reintegration of survivors; advocacy related to rights of the child

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Click here for Revathi’s full story

Revathi becomes a fierce child rights ambassador!

Revathi and her sister came to Madanapalle town from Divitivaripalle village in the neighbouring Mandal, in Andhra Pradesh, to live with their grandparents and continue secondary education as their village did not have a secondary school. Revathi was in class 8 when she learnt about CRY America supported project PORD (People’s Organisation for Rural Development). As part of their door-to-door campaign, they invited her to join the children’s collective in the colony too. Though her grandparents were reluctant to let her join the children’s collective, they eventually agreed. Once she joined the collective Revathi said, “I made sure I participated in every possible activity of the child collective. I found my calling when I learnt about child rights. It gave me a means to deal with the problem of child rights abuse which was all around me in the slum. I now had a tool to act on it. The vulnerability and innocence of children moved me. I thus decided to spread awareness about child rights and mechanisms to protect them.” Her enthusiasm for learning gave her great success. In two years, she started participating in capacity building programs and with confidence, she started spreading the message of child rights. Looking at her involvement and potential, she was made the Secretary of the Child Collective. She then started visiting several schools to speak about child rights. Revathi has a special spark in her and is extremely motivated to work for children. She has now become a role model in the community. As an ambassador of child rights, she is an inspiration for several other children too.

About CRY America Project – PORD (People’s Organisation for Rural Development)

  • 7,071 children impacted
  • 79 children’s group formed/strengthened
  • 49 birth registrations
  • 28 children removed from labor

CRY America supported project - PORD was founded in 1992 by Mrs. J. Lalithamma. PORD is an organization with an objective to build awareness among dalits and to work for sustainable development, with a key focus on education. Project PORD’s activities are spread across Thamballapalle Mandal, in the Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, which is an underdeveloped area where the condition of dalits and tribals (especially women and children) is extremely poor.

CRY America supports PORD to effectively promote child rights in the rural and urban areas of Chittoor. The PORD team strategically uses cultural events as a medium in sensitization of community and parents, to bring changes in behaviour, attitude, and practices in the community. PORD also has a strong focus on advocacy and it has developed a strong working relationship with many district level government departments and committees including the CWC (Child Welfare Committee), District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Police Department, Judiciary Department and Labor Department for the protection of the rights of children in the community.
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Click here for Ama’s full story

Ama gets a healthy start to life!

Two-year-old Ama was severely malnourished but her parents were totally unaware about her situation or the effect that malnourishment has on a child’s overall development.

It was only when Mukesh, Ama’s father, attended one of the community meetings organized by CRY America supported Project Prayatn on the various issues of health and nutrition, did he realize that his daughter was severely malnourished.

The community members, along with the team of Prayatn, then advised him to take Ama to the malnutrition treatment center, followed by regular home visit to monitor her growth. Ama is now receiving proper care and nutrition at the malnutrition centre. She is on her way to living a happy and healthy life.

Ama’s father has now become an active member of the community collective and often shares his experience with others so that they realize the importance of addressing the issue of malnutrition amongst children early on.

About CRY America Project – Prayatn Sansthan

  • 5,837 children impacted
  • 30 children’s group formed/strengthened
  • 577 birth registrations
  • 225 children immunized

CRY America supported project - Prayatn Sansthan was founded in 1992 by Malay Kumar. Prayatn is an organization that is committed to working not only on issues of women and children empowerment but also on community development as a whole.

Prayatn is recognized as a leading organization working on child rights issues with a special focus on health and nutrition. The Project covers 30 villages under Shahabad block of Baran district in Rajasthan, India. Baran is the only district in Rajasthan which has majority of Saharia population (a vulnerable tribal group), where the child health and nutrition scenario in the intervention areas is extremely poor.

CRY America supports Prayatn to address health, education and nutrition related issues of children through community meetings, awareness drives and formation of community member committees to monitor services. Prayatn also works directly at the grassroots conducting research, networking with stakeholders and lobbying and advocacy with government.
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