Rajasthan is the state next to Gujurat and has all the details that tourists think of as “Indian”. There are deserts, camels wondering in the dunes, the colored cities, elephant rides, and snake charmers, camel market, and races But this morning, I want to introduce you to this small forward thinking village, Piplantra.
India has a long and sad history for not valuing female babies. Much of it is the prospect of a dowry for her wedding. This tradition is against the law but a tradition that is ever lingering. A young OBGY doctor told us about the celebrations that occor after the birth of a boy, but the sad faces and almost mourning attitude of families who have a baby girl. There has been a use of gender selection abortions where male babies are only kept, until years after this began, there were too few women to be brides for sons! This is a similar situation that China has experienced before they have taken steps to not be so vigilant in their one child policy.
This is an amazing and encouraging story! Thanks Judith for another wonderful post!
India’s other daughters – The village that plants 111 trees when a girl is born
In a country that still favours the birth of a son, Piplantri village in Rajasthan not only embraces daughters but has created a tradition that benefits both the local people and the planet. This endearing village makes a conscious effort to save girl children and the green cover at the same time, by planting 111 trees every time a girl is born. A brilliant exercise in eco-feminism, this should inspire India and the rest of the world.
This wonderful eco-conscious tradition ensures that an increase in human population will never come at a cost to the environment. It is literally helping to ensure a greener future with each new generation.
The village gathers as a community and plants 111 fruit trees in honour of every newborn female child.
Parents are legally bound by a signed affidavit stating that their daughter will receive proper education. The affadavit also mandates that the girl should be married only after she reaches legal age and the trees planted after her birth have been correctly looked after.
Image source: piplantri.com
The community ensures that the trees survive, attaining fruition as the girl grows up.
The villagers don’t just plant trees, they look after them as well. To protect the trees from termites, the residents plant aloe vera plants around them.
This unique tradition was first suggested by the village’s former leader, Shyam Sundar Paliwal, in honour of his daughter who passed away at a young age. In the last 6 years, over a quarter of a million trees have been planted.
Image source: piplantri.com
Villagers claim there has not been any police case here for the last 7 to 8 years.