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Payal Jangid: Transforming Hinsala, One Child at a Time

Someone has rightly quoted, ‘When there is a will, there is a way’. Payal Jangid is a little girl of just 13 years of age who has braved all the odds and raised her voice against her child marriage and child labor in her poor village Hinsala in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is a state in India where child marriages are common, and children dropping out of school is a harsh reality. Payal’s life took a turn after the formation of Child-Friendly Village or Bal Mitra Gram, which Bachpan Bachao Andolan set up under the guidance of Kailash Satyarthi.

Payal Jangid started the campaign against child marriage in her village. At first, she faced numerous hurdles but was finally victorious in her attempt. In 2012, a Child Parliament was formed in her village Hinsala, and Payal was elected as the head in 2013. Payal is fighting tremendously for change across the state of Rajasthan. Payal has provided a framework with the help of authorities which has helped infer several solutions to the problems faced by the schools in the village. When Payal talks in the village, adults and children listen alike.

As the Chief of the Children’s Parliament, Payal has initiated several awareness campaigns and rallies to end child marriage and child slavery. Payal also ensured that every child in the village had access to schools. With the help of the authorities of the Bal Mitra Gram, she also contacts several NGOs to protect women’s rights in the village. She even holds meetings where the village males are advised not to hit their wives or children. They are also taught about the need for education and are requested to send their daughters to schools.

Along with the help of adult leaders of the village, she and other children are trying to make the village child friendly. Payal herself has admitted more than 46 kids to schools. As a result of her efforts, not even a single case of child marriage has been registered since then, and all the children in the village are enrolled in schools. After forming Child Parliament, the children have become aware of their rights and vocal about their issues. Payal also worked towards women’s empowerment in her village. Payal was also made one of the World’s Children’s Prize jury members and traveled to Sweden to address the international audience with her speech on child marriage. Due to Payal’s collaborative efforts, the concept of veils has also ended in the Hinsala village. Her efforts ushered a significant change in her village, with women’s opinions being considered in every important decision.

In January 2015, when US President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited India, Payal was one of the girls to meet them. The first lady acknowledged Payal’s struggle to end the malpractice of child marriage and child labor and hugged her. Payal Jangid is certainly an inspiration to all the girls of India. She has shown the path of enlightenment to all. Her firm determination and indomitable courage have helped her cross every hurdle she has faced. A young and dynamic Payal is surely the leader of tomorrow. Our country, India, can always be proud of her.

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