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Child welfare is a fundamental step towards growth of humanity: Paresh Mundade

People Making Difference
Contributed by : Vasudha Sharma

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Paresh Mundade came to US over a decade ago but his love of his motherland never faded. He always wanted to do something which can bring a lasting change in lives of families back home. He found the method to his caring instinct with CRY. Child Rights and You is a nonprofit organization working around the globe for betterment of child residing in an underprivileged community. Their vision is to enable a happy, healthy and creative child whose rights are protected and honored in a society that is built on respect for dignity and justice for all. Their mission is to enable people to take responsibility for the situation of underprivileged children, especially Indian, and so motivate them to seek resolution through individual and collective action thereby enabling children to realize their full potential and people to discover their potential for action and change. Paresh has over 10 year long association with CRY for Seattle chapter. He volunteers as a Social Media Lead for CRY America and one of the core volunteers of all major CRY events in Seattle. Please read along for an inspirational interview.

Q: How do find time to raise a family with full time Microsoft job and promote CRY?
A: It is the motivation which keeps things going not time. As CRY founder Rippan Kapoor said Whatever I can do, I must do. Job is definitely a necessity to survive but giving back to your gives great fulfillment in the life. Getting in this lifestyle to balance job and duties has made me more flexible and frugal. It has taught me to be more efficient. With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match to your skill level can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. In addition to my role as a volunteer I also manage to teach dance classes time and again, and enjoy a decent social life. 

Q. You are a dance instructor too?
A. Yes I am. I am from Bombay and I have been raised in heart of Bollywood, (chuckles) what do u expect? I have danced in enough shows around the town, so I enjoy making people happy and grooving it out with them. It is not only a hobby but also a stress relief. So what is a better way to do it than dancing with them?

Q. How rewarding it is for you to be associated with CRY?
A. It is important to me on a personal level. I have seen slums in Bombay. I have seen children deprived of basic necessities of life. I believe it's impossible to ignore child rights. They need us, all of them do. If I can touch and improve even one life then it's enough worth. CRY touches about a million lives of these deprived children. I remember going back to India and able to appreciate the great work CRY did for education, abolishing child labor, unemployment among parents, girl child discrimination, lack of birth registration and immunizations. CRY works with lots of local NGO's to provide clean drinking water, polio vaccinations and also work on social issues important for child welfare. One such issue is alcohol or substance abuse in families. CRY America supports projects that empower communities to address these issues that impact underprivileged children. This includes street children, girl children, children in labor, and children of commercial sex workers, physically and mentally challenged children and children in institutions.

Q. What do you enjoy most about CRY events?
A. The energy they bring out in the community is the best part. More people, radiant colors, DJ music, dancing and scrumptious food set the tone for the events perfectly. There are 4 major cry events in Seattle which are packed with Large number of attendees celebrated with their families, friends and colleagues enabling lasting change in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children. A big thank you to all the volunteers who spend countless hours meticulously planning, promoting & executing CRY events. I look forward to these events as an opportunity to connect with local businesses too who are generous enough to support our cause. I value the local and small business role equally in our marketing and socializing strategies. It's a symbiotic relationship for us. We get their support in terms of revenue and services. They get to be associated with a great cause by helping families back home.

What is your message to people in Seattle?
When we are trying to work towards a big problems, every tiny step adds up. Your little contribution of time, skill or money can help thousands of underprivileged children across CRY America supported projects get access to their basic rights and live bright and healthy lives. So come on board and make every little effort count. It is a hassle free process which is amazingly gratifying. If there is any other cause that you feel like to do something about, please do that! The key is to do something and give back to others who don't have the same opportunity as you.

As I wrapped up my interview at I saw kids coming out of a play gym celebrating their friends 5 th Birthday. It was such a joyful sight with helium balloons in one tiny hand and goody bag in other. Everyone looked happy after that birthday party. But, did you know the 5th birthday is a milestone that not all children have the opportunity to experience? The first five years are a crucial period in a child's life. It creates the foundation for the years to come. Which is why access to adequate nutrition and healthcare services during this period is so crucial for an all-round development. Living in poverty isn't a choice and allowing the underprivileged to live without basic necessities is shameful. It is our duty to help them live a decent life, with access to basic commodities and education. I joined as a CRY volunteer to help in this effort. We all should pick a cause to volunteer. Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life. Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help with duties requiring outdoor assistance. We all can do our part in our own ways. Let's thank god for our abundance by using our special celebrations for a great cause. Make your special moments last a lifetime with 'My Occasion and CRY'. Request your friends and loved ones to donate to CRY America in lieu of gifts to you on your special occasions. Ways are many cause remain the same. Let's support!

About Author
I am a writer by choice, photographer by chance and a wellness expert by profession . Every aspect of my work has been inspired by simplicity which I consider as ultimate sophistication.


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