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CRY America Launches the "Stay in School" Campaign to Enable Girl Children in India to Reach their Potential by Eliminating the Roadblocks that Hinder their Education

BOSTON, February 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

CRY, Child Rights and You America (CRY America), a 501c3 non-profit launched the 'Stay in School' campaign for the third consecutive year, that will enable thousands of girl children in India to reach their full potential by addressing roadblocks that hinder their education. The campaign aims to create awareness on the importance of girl child education and provides a platform for the public to enable 1944 girls to go to school and realize their dreams. This fundraising campaign will kickstart on February 14 and will run for 75 days.

There are several reasons why girls drop out of school in India, such as lack of separate toilets, inadequate infrastructure, distance to schools, quality of teaching and gender discrimination. School drop-out rates amongst adolescent girls remains high at 63% while 53% of girls in the age group of 5-9 years are illiterate. 56% of the public schools in India still have no separate toilets for girls. Gender disparities in education have led to far more girls dropping out of school than boys. Lack of education for a girl child makes her more vulnerable to child labor and early marriage.

Take the case of Kilugu, who resides in the small village of Kilugupeta in Andhra Pradesh, India. Kilugu is a happy student with an unmistakable fervor to attend school. It is hard to believe that a few years back, she had dropped out in Class 3 saying she had lost interest in studies. It was found that she was asked to clean toilets daily in school and could not take the humiliation from other children and teachers. CRY America supported Project 'Sneha' with the support of the Village Child Protection Committee, ensured that Kilugu was re-enrolled and the school had the right infrastructure including classrooms, toilets, drinking water and sufficient staff, so children could focus on learning.

CRY America and its Project Partners ensure that thousands of girls like Kilugu go to school and issues such as girl child discrimination, child labor, child marriage and healthcare are addressed. The change is brought about by sensitizing not just the school, but working with the children, their parents, local community and local government agencies.

To enable lasting changes in the life of girl children, education is the biggest aid. This campaign will help thousands of girl children in India gain access to a classroom, a teacher, books and much more by removing these very roadblocks that hinder their education. This will ensure that she becomes more capable of tackling better these issues that would otherwise keep her away from being a healthy, happy and a creative child.

CRY America CEO, Ms. Shefali Sunderlal emphasizing the importance of girl child education says, "Educating a girl child sets off a cycle of positive change for herself, her family and her community. Education empowers her to make better decisions and live a better quality of life, besides protecting herself from abuse and early marriage.  Through this campaign we aim to raise awareness on the need to support girl children education, so that they can achieve their full potential."

Education is the most critical tool for empowering the girl child and women. It ensures a happy, healthy and productive life for the girls and the benefits percolate to the generations to come. Educating a girl child translates to educating the family, the community and is a key factor to a nation's socio-economic progress.

To support the Stay in School campaign, view http://www.america.cry.org/stayinschool

About CRY America

CRY America  is a 501c3 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 18,944 donors and 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 422,878 children living across 2,395 villages and slums through support to 64 Projects in India and the USA. For more information on CRY America, visit http://www.america.cry.org  or email  [email protected].

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