Apart from Prime Minister Modi, a Rajasthan girl also recieved the prestigious Global Goals Changemaker Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for her initiative towards abolishing the practice of child labour and child marriage in her village and other neighbouring villages.
The 17-year-old Payal Jangid from a Hinsla, Rajasthan received the honour in New York at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards 2019 ceremony at the hands of Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Payal, who works with the Nobel Laureate and Child rights Kailash Satyarthi’s, expressed her gratitude to her mentors after receiving the award. She said, “I extend my deepest gratitude to my mentors, Shri Kailash Satyarthi and Shrimati Sumedha Kailash for giving me an opportunity to work towards the promotion of child rights. 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,” she added. Payal, as the president of her village’s Children’s Panchayat (Bal Panchayat), has undertaken a slew of field activities in the past to empower women and children of her own village and villages nearby.
Her parents decided to marry her when she was 11-year-old. But Payal protested and refused to marry at such a young age which eventually led her parents to call off the marriage. As Payal grew older she helped girls like her to raise their voice against child marriages. She planned rallies, protests, and engaged with various women’s groups and youth forums of her village.
As a child rights advocate, Payal now encourages children to unite and raise their voices against unjust practices. “Young people like Payal are using their powerful voices to change the world,” praised Satyarthi. “Thanks to people like Payal, 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,” he said.
In 2013, Payal was chosen as a jury member for the World’s Children’s Prize for her extensive work towards protection of child rights. In 2017, she also received the “Young Achiever Award” by the global sports and fitness brand Reebok.
The “Changemaker” Award encourages and honours the achievements of young activists, campaigners and innovators across the world for inspiring social change as per the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The award aims at achieving three extraordinary objectives over the next 15 years: end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.
PM Modi Receives Global Goalkeeper Award
In another proud moment for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with the Global Goalkeeper Award at the hands of Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, for the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched under his regime. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was one of the first few ambitious projects launched in PM Modi’s first term in 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the Global Goalkeeper Award at tonight’s Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards. This award recognizes the progress India has made in providing safe sanitation under his leadership. pic.twitter.com/QSMD4UqxiU
— Gates Foundation (@gatesfoundation) September 25, 2019
In a series of tweets, PM Modi thanked the citizens of India for contributing to the grand success of the campaign.
I dedicate the Global Goalkeeper Award, conferred by the @gatesfoundation, to the 130 crore people of India and the collective endeavours of our nation to improve cleanliness.
It makes me most happy that India’s successes in sanitation have helped women and children the most. pic.twitter.com/Va4QKMY3tv
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 25, 2019
“No such campaign was seen or heard about in any other country in the recent past. It might have been launched by our government, but people took control of it. The poor people and the women of India were benefitted the most by it,” PM Modi said in his speech after receiving the award.
Modi also said that the campaign fulfilled Gandhi’s dream of cleanliness in the country. The campaign was appreciated by The World Health Organisation (WHO) which said that the government’s efforts and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan created a possibility to save three lakh lives.