Payal Jangid, who fought against her own marriage at a young age, is now campaigning to discourage child marriage and persuade parents to keep their children in education.
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.
Her campaign includes organising rallies, putting up posters, paining walls and going door-to-door to speak to families on the same.
“We had to work hard to make the elders realise that they were prohibiting us from getting our education,” she said. “I want every child in the world without education to be helped, and given a chance,” she said.
Payal Jangid received the Changemaker Award at tonight’s Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards. This award recognizes her campaign to end child labor and child marriage. pic.twitter.com/OV3U16ERmF
— Gates Foundation (@gatesfoundation) September 25, 2019
Her father Pappuram Jangid claims her initiative has seen a drastic drop in child marriages. “She has brought major improvement; almost all kids are going to school now. There hasn’t been child marriage in the village in the last decade,” he said.
She was also elected as a leader of children’s parliament, a youth forum that escalates issues to the village mayor. There are 50 kids from different villages in the parliament. “We sit together and discuss the problems and try to resolve them,” she said.
Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi Wednesday congratulated Jangid for her achievement. “Sumedha ji and I are so proud & 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,” he said.
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.
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.