Payal Jangid, 17-year-old activist from Rajasthan, is first Indian to win Changemaker Award
New Delhi/Jaipur, Sep 25 (IANS): Rajasthan-based activist Payal Jangid, 17, has been honoured with the prestigious 'Changemaker Award' by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards held in New York, in recognition of her work towards the abolition of child marriage in her village, Hinsla and other neighbouring areas.
Kailash Satyarthi's Children's Foundation said that Jangid received the honour on Tuesday at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards 2019 ceremony where subsequently Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also conferred with the 'Global Goalkeeper' award.
Jangid, who is one of many torchbearers of Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi's legacy and who lives in a Child-Friendly Village (Bal Mitra Gram) situated in the desert state of Rajasthan, expressed her happiness over the global recognition.
"I extend my deepest gratitude to my mentors, Kailash Satyarthi and Shrimati Sumedha Kailash for giving me an opportunity to work towards the promotion of child rights," Jangid said.
"It is because of them that I have been able to raise my voice against the social evil of child marriage and stopped my own marriage," said Jangid.
"This recognition will further encourage me to continue my fight to end all forms of exploitation of children".
Jangid, as the President of her village's Children's Parliament (Bal Panchayat), has undertaken a slew of field activities in the past to empower women and children of her own village and villages nearby, Kailash Satyarthi Foundation said.
"Jangid's parents decided to marry her off when she was only 11 years old. She raised her voice against child marriage, as a result, her parents relented and the marriage was prevented.
"Thus began her campaign against child marriages in her village and the adjoining areas. She planned rallies, organised protests, and engaged with various women's groups and youth forums of her village and surrounding villages.
"Today, as a child rights advocate, she has been encouraging children to unite and raise their voices against injustices done to them."
"She has made a significant contribution to her village administration leading to the betterment of the lives of the children of her village," said the foundation.
Satyarthi said young people like Jangid are using their powerful voice to change the world. "Thanks to people like Payal Jangid. Change and hope are knocking on 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."
Earlier in 2013, on the basis of Jangid's extensive work towards protection of the rights of children, she was chosen as a member of the jury for the World's Children's Prize, said the foundation.
In 2017, she also received the 'Young Achiever Award' by the global sports and fitness brand Reebok, said the foundation, adding Jangid is the personification of the award and she will continue to fight for the rights of children.