Rajasthan Teen Payal Jangid Wins Global Changemaker Award

17-year-old Payal Jangid, a girl from Rajasthan’s Hinsla village, received the Changemaker Award at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards on Tuesday.

She was given the award in recognition of her campaign to end child labour and child marriage. She was presented the award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Every year, Goalkeepers presents the annual Global Goals Awards. Goalkeepers is an organisation started by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2015 to bring together leaders from around the world to end poverty and fight inequality and to meet 17 global goals for sustainable development by 2030. These Awards tell the extraordinary stories of remarkable individuals taking action to bring the Global Goals to life and help achieve them by 2030. These were the fourth annual Global Goals Awards. The Global Goals Changemaker Award celebrates the achievement of an individual who has inspired Goal related change using their personal experience or from a position of leadership.

On receiving the award Payal said: “I’m extremely happy, PM also got this award. The way I’ve eradicated these problems in our village, I want to do same globally.”

Payal fought against her own marriage. She is now campaigning against child marriage and labour. She was forced to get married at a young age. She approached a social activist in her region who convinced her father against it. Payal has helped discourage child marriages and has also persuaded parents to keep their children in education by organizing rallies, painting walls and going house to house to speak to families. Jangid also said, “I want every kid in the world without education to be helped and given a chance to progress in society,”

Her father Papuram Jangid claimed her efforts had resulted in bringing down the rate of child marriages in her village.

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The Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said, “Sumedha ji and I are so proud and moved to watch our daughter Payal receiving Changemaker Award from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation now in New York. She refused her marriage and her entire village was free from child marriages & labour.”

She was also elected as a leader of children’s parliament, a youth forum that escalates issues to the sarpanch. There are 50 kids from different villages in the parliament.

The world’s children prize website reported Payal as saying “I was proud when I found out that so many people had voted for me.” “I want to fight for all children, especially girls. Here in Rajasthan, lots of girls are forced to work hard and get married when they are only twelve. I don’t like child marriage. We visit children at home and explain to their parents why school is important. I want to be a teacher. We also tell fathers not to hit their children or wives. If they are loving instead, things are better for everyone.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also among the recipients of Global Goalkeepers award this year for his government’s Swaachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative. However, 37 development academics and practitioners expressed their dismay and condemned the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for conferring the award on Modi due to the recent alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.

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