In a country where women are still struggling for equal rights and safety, the Piplantri village in Rajasthan portrays a different story. People there celebrate the birth of every girl child by planting 111 trees in the village common! This eco-conscious tradition adopted by them is not only a wonderful step for a greener future but it also ensures a better life for daughters born there.
Under this tradition, whenever a girl is born, the village gathers as a community and plants 111 trees to honour their child. A sum of Rs. 21,000 is collected from the village residents and Rs. 10,000 from the parents of the child. This total sum of Rs. 31,000 is then made into a fixed deposit for the girl, with a maturity period of 20 years. This deposit is made to ensure financial aid for the girl at the time of her marriage.
The parents of the child are bound to sign an affidavit stating that their daughter will receive proper education and will be married only after she reaches her legal age. They also have to take care of the trees that were planted after the birth of their daughter. The parents along with the village community ensure that the trees planted survive.
To protect the trees from termites, the village residents also plant aloe vera plants around them. These trees, especially the aloe vera plants are a source of livelihood for many residents of Piplantri.
This tradition was started by a former village leader of Piplantri, Shyam Sundar Paliwal, in memory of his daughter who passed away at a very young age.
Over the course of past few years, lakhs of trees have been planted in Piplantri. And all this for such a wonderful cause of protecting girl child and the environment, has surely created a truly sustainable future for the village community.
All these years, people not only in India but around the globe have been trying to figure out ways to combat environmental and social issues. The residents of Piplantri through this unique tradition occurs to have sought an incredible solution. And it seems the world has a lot to learn from them.