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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: At a time when Odisha is making headlines for wrong reasons like crimes against minor girls, Jhulima Mallik, a tribal girl from K.Nuagaon block under Kandhamal district has made the State famous at international stage by winning the prestigious V-Award from UN House at New Delhi.

Jhulima was the only Odia girl among 10 winners in India felicitated with the prestigious honour on 5 December 2019 for her works in the area of child rights protection, abolition of child marriage & educational rights of children.

Her achievement is nothing short of a heroic journey. As the scent of a wildflower travels farther without any obstacles, neither the society nor her poverty could stop her from achieving something that others with money couldn’t.

As per reports, Jhulima who is a tribal girl of remote Bandudi village was reportedly a victim of child marriage. She vehemently objected against the decision when her parents pressured her to marry and after her parents backed off from going ahead with the decision; Jhulima made it her life’s goal to abolish child marriage from her area.

She joined several volunteer organisations like Swati & Save The Children in 2016 and successfully stopped 12 child marriages while working as an activist.

According to her, the award is not the end goal of her works, rather a mile stone in her journey. Jhulima who is now working as the leader of Ananya Girls Association under K. Nuagaon block says that she will continue to work for child rights until the whole Kandhamal district becomes free of child marriage incidents.

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