17-year-old, Rajasthan based activist Payal Jangid was honored in New York with the ‘Changemaker Award’ by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on September 24. She was given the award in recognition of her work towards the abolition of child marriage in her village, Hinsla and other neighbouring areas.
Jangid thanked Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi who has supported her in her fight against child marriage.
"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. This recognition will further encourage me to continue my fight to end all forms of exploitation of children.”
Jangid was 11 years old when her parents decided to marry her off. She resisted and raised her voice against child marriage, as a result of which her parents relented and the marriage was called off.
That was the start of her campaign to rid her village and adjoining areas from the evils of child marriages through rallies, organised protests, and engagements with women's groups and youth forums.
"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," said Satyarthi.