Ms. Lalita Duhariya, a 16 years old girl from Rajasthan, India, is the President of the country’s National Bal Maha Panchayat/National Children’s Parliament. She is an advocate for child rights and is recognized for combatting issues related to untouchability and caste-based discrimination in India.
Over the years, Ms. Lalita has worked towards the elimination of caste-based discrimination in her village. Through her local advocacy, she has ensured that all children belonging to marginalized caste groups are enrolled and retained in schools without being subjected to any discrimination or stigma. She has made use of several effective tools for her advocacy such as rallies and door-to-door campaigns to reach each and every household of her village. Through her efforts, she has also eliminated culturally accepted forms of exploitation against children such as child labour and child marriage in her village.
Owing to her fight against the deeply-entrenched caste system and efforts leading to inclusive education and zero tolerance against child exploitation, she has been awarded the “Reebok Fit to Fight” Award. She was also selected as the Ashoka Youth Changemaker for being a dynamic youth leader in the field of child rights. Today she is a student of senior high school and aspires to become a doctor.