In the wake of the COVID pandemic, celebrated actor Riya Sen has come forward to support the underprivileged and marginalised children in need of proper healthcare, to ensure that they have access to a happy, healthy, creative and safe childhood. She has launched a crowd-funding campaign on the popular portal ketto.org urging people to support her campaign by donating towards the cause. In this venture, she supported the leading child rights organisation, CRY – Child Rights and You.
Riya went LIVE on Instagram along with her co-actor Anant Vidhaat to raise awareness about the cause and raise funds, as both spoke about their childhood memories. They also shared that CRY has remained special to them from the time they were children. Going beyond, Riya has taken to her social media accounts to talk about CRY and their work raising an amount of INR 1.3 lakhs till date. The fundraiser still has a month to go to complete its course. Interestingly, the actor was raising funds for CRY on her own, and roped her co-actor into supporting the cause during her Instagram Live.
When asked why she chose to support this cause, Riya said, “The future of a country is directly linked to how it’s young flourish in terms of education, health and nutrition, and a general sense of familial well-being. Unfortunately, a large population of children in our country do not have access to such basic institutions, resulting in horrible situations such as malnourishment, diseases, abuse, child labour and illiteracy.”
Appreciating CRY for playing a crucial role in ensuring a holistic environment for every child so that they are given the opportunity to grow up healthy, educated and happy, Riya said, “The organisation has a long standing reputation to engage with the civil society and make it a better place for children through our donations and support, and it is the responsibility of every one of us that has the means to give, to help them in this noble cause.”
On their part, CRY shall focus on ensuring regular vaccinations, providing timely care to pregnant and lactating mothers, addressing the issue of malnutrition. For the children experiencing an unexpected gap in their schooling during the current crisis that has thrown their academic year out of focus, CRY shall make certain that children do not drop out and get stuck in the cycle of poverty.
During times of crisis, children’s vulnerability to abuse and exploitation increases and it’s important to ensure their safety. CRY will be focusing on rehabilitating vulnerable children and addressing their needs and strengthening child protection mechanisms.
Trina Chakrabarti, Regional Director of CRY (East) said, “Covid-19 was a strong reminder that the key to our existence, lies in interdependence. In CRY, we witnessed a surge of empathetic response from people from diverse backgrounds – students, chefs, actors, doctors, danseuses and many others. This was triggered by the realization that our lives are interconnected and that personal wellbeing is not possible without societal well-being. One cannot happen without the other.
Welcoming Riya’s move, Trina added, “Through her crowd funding campaign she not only mobilized funds for the cause but also generated awareness. As a Child Rights Champion, Riya’s action will inspire many more champions to come forward and do their bit for children.”
Apart from her much loved roles in Bollywood, Riya is fondly remembered by the Bengali audience for her critically acclaimed role in Late Rituparno Ghosh’s Noukadubi. The granddaughter of the iconic Suchitra Sen and the daughter of Moon Moon Sen, Riya has hailed from a family known for its glamour and an inherent connect with social causes.
Riya has gone on to mention on her fundraising page that, “CRY has always ensured that children in its projects have access to free and quality education, primary health care and are safe from violence, abuse and exploitation. The pandemic will leave a trail of destruction for India’s under-privileged children in its wake and the crisis is far from being over. To ensure that this doesn’t become a child rights crisis in the long term, CRY has created a resilience and recovery plan for under-served children – a campaign that focuses on their health, nutrition, education and safety.”
As she voices a loud and clear call to action to the civil society for joining her with the cause, she also mentions being really inspired by CRY’s founder Late Rippan Kapur who would always say, “What I can do, I must do.”