17-year old Payal Jangid becomes first Indian to win the Goalkeepers Global Goals Changemaker Award
Hailing from Rajasthan, 17-year-old Payal Jangid was on Wednesday conferred the Changemaker Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards held in New York. Becoming the first Indian to win the award, Payal was recognised for her work towards the abolition of child marriage in her village, Hinsla, which is a child-friendly village (Bal Mitra Gram), and other neighbouring villages.
Payal received the award from Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
The Changemaker Award encourages and honours the achievements of young activists, campaigners, and innovators across the world for inspiring social change according to the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. The award aims at achieving three objectives over the next 15 years - ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change.
Payal's activism began when she relented against being married off when she was just 11 years old. She raised her voice against her parents' decision, and successfully prevented the marriage.
Payal then served as the President of her village’s Children’s Parliament (Bal Panchayat), and conducted a number of field activities to empower women and children of her own village and villages nearby. She organised rallies and protests, and worked 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 any injustice they face. She has significantly contributed to her village administration, leading the children of the village to better lives.
“This recognition will further encourage me to continue my fight to end all forms of exploitation of children,” said Payal.
Payal also thanked her mentors, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and child rights activist Sumedha Kailash.
Praising Payal on her achievement, Satyarthi said, "Thanks to people like Payal, 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.”
For her extensive work, Payal had also been chosen as a member of the jury for the World's Children's Prize in 2013. In 2017, she also received the Young Achiever Award by Reebok.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)