Rajasthan’s Piplantri village should just change its name to Piplan-Tree. Unlike so many other villages in India, where girls are married off at a young age, raped or abused, this unique village treats every woman with the respect she deserves. For each girl born, 111 trees are planted in her honor. The amazing tradition started after resident, Shyam Sundar Paliwal lost his daughter, Kiran, at a young age in 2007. He then encouraged the residents to celebrate the births of every girl born in the village. On an average, 60 girls are born in the village every year and over the last eight years, the villagers have planted over a quarter million trees including..
The village, which consists of 8,000 residents, also plants 11 trees for each family member who dies. For the girls born, the villagers contribute a sum of Rs. 21,000 ($327), which is put aside along with a parental sum of Rs 10,000 ($156). The money is then deposited in the bank and available for the girl when she turns 20. The parents also sign a written statement to provide their daughter with an education and to not marry her off before she is of legal age.
The heartwarming initiative has turned out to be quite beneficial for the villagers who have planted over two and a half million Aloe Vera plants around the trees in order to prevent them from being infested with termites. Now the trees planted, and in particular the Aloe Vera trees, have become a source of livelihood for many of the residents. Furthermore, according to reports, there have been no police cases in the village in the last eight years. It is also the only village in India with its own website and Facebook page.
Rajasthan, like many other states in India, has a skewed sex ratio of 928 women for every 1000 men. The social bias for the male child often forces parents into marrying away their daughters in order to secure their safety. Girls are often married off before turning 15 and are forced to discontinue their education. That is why Piplantri’s initiative is so fundamentally important in the change for India’s daughter.
Tell us what you think about the residents in this village and their tree-planting initiative.