This wonderful news comes to us from Jaipur, India.
Payal Jangid who comes from Rajasthan was on Wednesday conferred the Changemaker Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award that was held in New York. Payal became the very first Indian to win this award. She was awarded for her role in the abolition of child marriage in her village, Hinsla that is also a child-friendly village (BalMitra Gram). Her influence spread to other nearby villages as well.
The Changemaker Award is for young activists, campaigners and innovators all around the world for bringing about social change in accordance with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. The award is geared towards the achievement of three objectives over the next 15 years- ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and fighting climate change.
Payal’s activism began when she was just 11 years old and when her parents were seeking to marry her off. She protested against her parent’s decision and was successful in preventing the marriage from taking place. Payal then served as president of her village’s Children’s Parliament (Bal Panchayat) and was involved in conducting quite a number of field activities in order to empower the women and children of her village and also nearby villages. She was instrumental in organizing a number of protests and rallies as she worked with different women’s groups and youth forums of her village as well as neighboring villages.
In her capacity as a child’s rights advocate, Payal has been busy in encouraging children to come together and raise their voices against any injustice they face. She has a significant contribution towards the administration of her village and has succeeded in leading the children of the village towards a much better life.
Payal says, “This recognition will further encourage me to continue my fight to end all forms of exploitation of children.” She thanked her mentors, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and also the child’s right activist Sumedha Kailash.
Satyarthi, in praise of Payal, said “Thanks to people like Payal, change, and hope are knocking at our doors. The world needs to be prepared for this new generation of activists. Their activism, dedication, and bravery are already moving leaders to make changes and I know there is more to come.”
Image source: Governance Now