CRY Announces the Launch of National Campaign on Child Education

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A young adventure-enthusiast supports CRY and embarks upon a solo 5,000 kms long Trans-Himalayan cycle ride from Srinagar to Walong, trailblazing for the cause. A report.

Kolkata & New Delhi: CRY (Child Rights and You) announces the launch of ‘School the Spark’, a national campaign to address issues related to children’s education, in a press conference held at Kolkata Press Club. The campaign, spread over three phases will focus on the challenges faced by children in accessing their basic right to education. When a child drops out of school, the potential of their abilities remains unexplored. Education ensures that this “spark” in every child is revealed and nurtured further, giving them a platform to shine.

The pan India campaign will impact the lives of 2,52,293 children in the age group of 6 to 18 years in CRY-supported projects. The first phase of the campaign will ensure that 79,744 children in the age group of 11 to 14 years do not drop out of school and get a chance to recognise, channelise and develop their abilities to their full potential.

Briefing what CRY aims to achieve through the campaign, Atindra Nath Das, Regional Director, East, CRY, said, “Thousands of children in India lack access to education and can’t even write their own names. Moreover, children between the ages of 11 to 14 years are hugely vulnerable to dropping out of schools. When a child is able to go to school, it sets off a cycle of positive change. An educated child stays away from an early marriage and is empowered to stand up against exploitation. As children grow, they are able to make better choices for themselves and influence the communities they live in. This transforms their present life and ensures a secure future for them.”

The campaign kick starts with a ride for child rights, a 5,000 km long Trans-Himalayan cycle ride from Srinagar to Walong, undertaken by Sudipto Pal – a four month-long solo traverse through the Great Himalayan Arc from west to east – to raise awareness about the cause of child education in the country. Scott Sports India Private Limited, a leading brand in manufacturing mountain bikes has extended valuable support as the equipment partner to the journey.

Sudipto Pal’s 120-day journey will take him through some of the most treacherous trails in the Himalayas, including several high passes, narrow strips of roads laced with deep gorges, torrential streams, tricky tracks crisscrossing rock-fall zones, glacial terrains and dense Alpine forests. En route, he will also attempt to scale one virgin peak. In the last leg of his journey he will be crossing high valleys of Upper Assam along the course of Brahmaputra to reach the virgin forests of Arunachal Pradesh – some stretches of which are rarely visited by mountain trekkers .Sudipto has dedicated this entire journey to the CRY initiative, ‘School the Spark’.

Anita Bala Sharad, Director, Resource Mobilisation, CRY, said, “CRY has always believed in the power of the youth to bring lasting change. Young people like Sudipto are inspirational examples of how passionately the Indian youth can engage with the cause of child rights. Sudipto’s Trans-Himalayan ride for child rights will not only help generate awareness around the importance of education in the lives of children, but also help raise funds to ensure that thousands of children get their right to education. CRY strongly believes in the strength of people coming together to make change possible.”

“My experience in mountaineering and high altitude rescue operations over the last 15 years has brought me close to the local people, and has taught me that it is the children are the most vulnerable when it comes to accessing opportunities and entitlements. I have interacted with hundreds of them, who, given a chance to access education and other facility, could have grown to their full potential,” Sudipto said.

Acclaimed cricketer and sports entrepreneur Arun Lal graced the occasion and flagged off the journey. He also appreciated the campaign School the Spark. “I wish Sudipto and CRY all the best for this endeavour. It is indeed encouraging to see the youth take action to bring attention to such pressing issues as children’s education.”

CRY, over three decades of its existence, has witnessed many a stories of individuals and organizations stepping up for the cause of child rights. If Sudipto’s story is one example of how an individual can rise to such occasions, Scott Sports India Private Limited has also joined hands with CRY to support this cause.

Jaymin Shah, Country Manager, Scott Sports India Private Limited, shared, “We have always supported cyclists who undertake cycling expeditions for promotion of a cause which is extremely good and necessary for the society at large. When one of India’s leading NGOs CRY approached us to support Sudipto Pal in his endeavour to ride 5000 kms across the remotest places of India to promote children’s right to education, we just didn’t think twice to support him on this superb initiative.”

Through this campaign CRY calls upon each and every individual and organisation to recognise the cause and contribute to nurture the spark in every child.

To track Sudipto’s progress along the trail and to get real-time updates of his journey starting 15th July 2016, please follow CRY Facebook page at 

Your support to the CRY campaign, ‘School the spark’ will help ensure children are not deprived of their right to education. Know more at spark

Pix sourced by CRY.