JAIPUR: A teenager from Rajasthan Payal Jangid was conferred with a special Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday. 17-year-old Payal received the Changemaker Award at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards for her campaign to end child labour and child marriage.
Payal belongs to Hinsla village in Rajasthan' Alwar district and served as the Head of the Bal Panchayat (Children's Council) in her village as part of the 'Bal Mitra Gram' (Child-Friendly Village) program under Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi's Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).
After honouring the brave teenager, the Gates foundation tweeted: “Payal Jangid received the Changemaker Award at tonight’s Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards. This award recognizes her campaign to end child labour and child marriage."
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
Among the first to congratulate Payal was her mentor and Nobel winner Kailash Satyarthi who tweeted: "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 neighbouring villages."
The social activist further tweeted his best wishes, "Sumedha ji and I are so proud and moved to watch our daughter Payal receiving Changemaker Award from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation now in New York. She refused her marriage and her entire village was free from child marriages and labour."
On receiving the award, Payal said "I'm extremely happy, PM also got this award. The way I've eradicated these problems in our village, I want to do the same globally."
People in Payal's village are happy with her achievement and say that due to her initiative almost all kids are going to school and her work has led to a significant drop in child marriages, in the last decade.
The annual Goalkeeper awards are given in five categories to leaders and individuals for their efforts in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The categories are Progress, Changemaker, Campaign, Goalkeepers Voice and the Global Goalkeeper.
Prior to Payal, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Global Goalkeeper Award for his contributions to the cleanliness drive and efforts to "improve access to sanitation in India through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan."