To Freida Pinto, the idea of change is “very simple.”
In fact, she believes, “[change] is the only constant thing you can work towards and try to make possible.”
“In many parts of the world, it’s always the girls who are the most marginalized – they’re denied education or have been taken out of school because they’ve been married at age 18,” Pinto tells PEOPLE.
“If you think about the injustice towards women, even in our very developed world, it exists, so you can’t even imagine the extent of it in parts of the world where people aren’t even aware of their rights,” she says.
On Friday, the Slumdog Millionaire actress was honored at the Changemaker Gala, part of the Greenwich International Film Festival for her humanitarian work with Girl Rising.
“Getting involved came from a very human part of me,” says Pinto. “I haven t been denied education and have the best education my parents could possibly give me, so this just came from a very human perspective.”
She points out that school teaches girls much more than how to read and write. It also helps build confidence.
“The whole culture of actually going to school, interacting with friends, having great teachers, and learning more than what the book provides is so important in shaping children’s minds,” says Pinto. “It gives them a whole world from which they can choose from.”