An Indian village in Rajasthan that plants 111 trees when a girl is born: here is her story

At a time when newspapers are riddled with stories of rape, tormented, killed and abused girls, the story of this Indian village feels like a breath of fresh air. In the Rajsamand district of southern Rajasthan, Piplantri is setting a spectacular example by saving girl children and increasing vegetation cover at the same time.

Have planted 111 trees in the past 15 years

In the village, it is compulsory to plant 111 saplings each time a girl is born. The Piplantri community ensures that these trees survive and come to fruition as the girls grow. The initiative tackles two major social issues – girl empowerment and reforestation. This has helped the village increase its green coverage, and they have been doing it for 15 years.

piplantri

This brand of eco-feminism is a great way for villagers to understand and appreciate the importance of girls and trees. That is why it is not enough to plant young trees. The family must take care of the trees as they would their daughters.

Mission to celebrate the little girl

Not only that, at the time of a girl’s birth, Rs 10,000 from the girl’s parents and Rs 31,000 from donors and Bhamashahs are collected and deposited in a Fixed Deposit (FD) account.

The village panchayat keeps an account of this and at the end of the term, the FD is revised. The panchayat registers the details of the girl’s birth with the registrar. Along with this, all the official formalities are done for the Janani Suraksha scheme and other beneficial government bond schemes.

Over the past six years, villagers have successfully planted more than a quarter of a million trees on the village’s common pastures, including neem, sheesham, mango and amla.

little girl
little girl

How did it start?

On average, 60 girls are born here each year, according to the village’s former sarpanch, Shyam Sundar Paliwal, who was instrumental in starting this initiative in memory of his daughter Kiran, who died a few years ago. She died of complications from dehydration at the age of 18.

shy
shy

Since then, Shyam has made it his mission to have green cover in the village so that there is never a shortage of water.

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Christina A. Kroll