When was the last time that we asked children how were they feeling? When was the last time that we as adults stepped into their shoes of children and tried to feel the way they felt? It may not be easy to remember!
This was the central thought that CRY – Child Rights and You, the leading Indian non-profit working for the rights of children, weaved into their event ‘Together for Children’, while celebrating the 40th year of its journey with the underprivileged children of India.
In doing so, CRY invited eminent personalities like the iconic actor cum poet Soumitra Chatterjee, renowned actor Rajatava Dutta and Rini, who read out thoughts that children had expressed, to the audience. This was indeed a short yet brilliantly designed session that successfully captured voices of children – their victories and vulnerabilities, trials and tribulations.
Eminent actor Koel Mullick inaugurated this programme and said, “My memories of CRY have always been associated with celebrations. Because CRY to me was about CRY cards and these cards always came in from some of my dearest people during New Year. I congratulate CRY for completing 40 years.”
Soumitra Chatterjee said, “Every child has their own story. The adults need to hear these stories for themselves.”
Elaborating the idea at the core, Trina Chakrabarti, Regional Director CRY (East) said, “As we grow up in years, the gap between the-way-we-are-now and the-child-in-us-that-we-have-left-behind gradually increases. The manifestations of it are myriad and at various levels – for example, in our families, we often feel our children do not understand us and vice versa.”
“In our fortieth year, we wished to invite adults to step into the shoes of children for a little while and re-connect with the emotions of childhood,” Trina added.
The letter-reading session followed performances by children who were ready to rock the stage under the blissful guidance of the dance maestro Tanushree Shankar and the composer cum percussionist Pandit Tanmoy Bose, who have been coaching and guiding them under the Master Class Pragramme, an initiative by CRY.
Pt.Tanmoy Bose said, “I have been an ardent follower of social activities and this is what I think is a social responsibility not just for performing artists but for everybody in this society and I will be contributing my part, doing my bit with my girls. I look forward to collaborating more with CRY and will also be teaching three deserving little ones, tabla for the next five years. I congratulate CRY and am happy to be included in this journey.”
The keynote address was delivered by the Guest of Honour, Dr. Sashi Panja, the Honourable Minister Women & Child Development and Social Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal, who has always been an inspiration and patron for such endeavors in the state.
Dr, Sashi Panja said, “Today CRY is celebrating its 40th year. The uniqueness of the concept of this programme is, eminent personalities like Mr. Soumitra Chatterjee has recited the story of these underprivileged children.” She also congratulated CRY for their relentless work in ensuring lasting change for children.