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.
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!