On Wednesday, 17-year-old Payal Jangid was presented the Changemaker Award at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation held in New York. Hailing from Rajasthan, Payal has become the first Indian to win the award. She has been appreciated for her efforts towards the abolition of child marriage in Hinsla and other neighboring villages. Hinsla, her village, is a child-friendly village (Bal Mitra Gram).
Under the Sustainable Development Goals by the UN, the Changemaker Award empowers and honors the achievements of budding activists, campaigners, and innovators all around the globe for inspiring social change. The honor aims at three objectives over the coming 15 years, that is, ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change.
Payal was just 11 years old when she was about to be married. Her rebel against being married off was her first instance of activism. She raised her voice against her parents’ decision and prevented the marriage successfully. Later Payal served as the President of her village’s Bal Panchayat (Children’s Parliament). She conducted several field activities to empower and encourage women and children of her village and villages nearby and organized rallies and protests. Payal also worked with various women’s group and youth forums of her village and villages nearby. As a child rights advocate, Payal has been inspiring children to unite and raise their voices against any injustice they encounter.
The 17-year-old has also been chosen as a member of the jury for the World’s Children’s Prize in 2013 for her extensive work. She also secured the Young Achiever Award by Reebok in 2017.
Payal thanked her mentors, child rights activist Sumedha Kailash and Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, for supporting and guiding her throughout.