In a country where the Infant Mortality Rate is higher for a female infant and the birth of a son is much favored, a small village in the state of Rajasthan, India, has been making a difference.

The village of Piplantri is ensuring that a girl child as well as trees are nurtured and cared for!

One might ask how.

The Piplantri villagers have created a tradition of planting 111 trees every time a baby girl is born in their village!

A brilliant tradition that ensures newer generations have a greener future. A tradition that was started by a former village head in the memory of his daughter who passed away at a young age.

Apart from planting the trees, the villagers collect a total of Indian Rupees (INR) 31000 from among them and the child’s parents, as a 20-year fixed deposit to secure the child’s future. The parents are legally bound by a signed contract to provide proper education for their daughter and to marry her off only when she reaches a legal age (since child marriages still take place in India). Caring for the 111 trees are also a stipulation in the contract and the villagers help to look after them too.

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This powerful and inspiring initiative that began in 2006 has resulted in the growth of more than 250,000 trees over the past years. A tradition that has also been adopted by a few other villages too.

Winds of Change, India!