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17-Year-Old Payal Jangid Becomes First Indian To Win Changemaker Award For Fighting Child Marriage

Recently Narendra Modi, the Honourable Prime Minister Of India, was presented the 'Global Goalkeeper Award' by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the New York on 25 September 2019. But do we know there was yet another Indian who was presented another prestigious award? 17 year old, Payal Jangid has won the Goalkeeper Award in the 'Changemaker' category on the same day in the New York itself. She has become the first Indian to win this award.

Payal Jangid Wins Changemaker Award

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Payal comes from Hinsla, a small village in the state of Rajasthan, India. She is the head of 'Bal Panchayat' (child parliament) in her village which is a part of the Bal Mitra Gram (child-friendly village) Programme. This programme comes under the Bal Bachao Andolan (BBA) which is led by the Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

Payal wants to fight for the rights and welfare of children, especially girls. She was 11 years old when her parents decided to get her married. But she didn't accede to their wish and raised her voice against child marriage. Later she was successful in preventing herself from getting married.

"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," Jangid was quoted saying this on the World Children Prize's (WCP) official website. WCP works for the education and other rights of children.

Payal along with some children and adult-leaders is trying to make her village children-friendly by visiting every household and explaining to them why education is important. "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," mentioned Jangid.

It is the result of Payal's hard work and determination that the adult parliament in her village listens to her and her friends. "The adults listen to us and help us," says Jangid.

The Goalkeeper award is presented annually to individuals and leaders across the world for making efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The award has five categories, namely Progress, Changemaker, Campaign, Goalkeepers Voice and the Global Goalkeeper.

As per the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, "These awards tell the extraordinary stories of remarkable individuals taking action to bring the Global Goals to life and help achieve them by 2030."

PM Modi was honoured with the 'Global Goalkeeper Award' on this Wednesday (25 September 2019) for his leadership and contribution for the Swacch Bharat Mission that was started on 2 October 2014. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this award is a "special recognition" that acknowledges the work of political leaders who "demonstrated their commitment to the Global Goals through impactful work in their country and/or globally."

"I'm extremely happy, PM also got this award. The way I've eradicated these problems in our village, want to do same globally," said Jangid after receiving the award.

"Payal made us proud today, she is one of those young ladies who are on the forefront against exploitation of children in India and elsewhere. She was courageous to refuse her marriage, and of other children in the village and neighboring villages," praised Kailash Satyarthi.

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Payal Janigad has also served as the member of Jury of WCP.