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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Bihar village shows the green way to celebrate birth of a girl

Avijit Biswas Avijit Biswas, Hindustan Times  Kaluchak (Bihar), June 04, 2013
First Published: 22:00 IST(4/6/2013) | Last Updated: 03:36 IST(5/6/2013)
Kavita Devi gained iconic status in Kaluchak village for having planted a tree when her daughter was born three years back. Father-in-law Umesh Singh, 58, as well as husband Avinash, 26, could not have been happier.
 
Both Umesh and Avinash are proud that Kavita, who belongs to Dharhara, has carried forward the tradition of her village of planting a tree at the birth of a girl.
 
Dharhara in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, around 230 km east of capital Patna, attained cult status in 2010 when it came to light that residents planted at least one sapling to commemorate the birth of a girl in the village.
 
Now, Kavita and many others from Dharhara like her, who have settled in different parts of the state after marriage, are holding on to this tradition. They are the initiators of a silent green revolution in the state.
 
What’s more, Kavita’s pioneering model in Kaluchak is being imitated by neighbours, who have understood the economic and environmental values of planting a tree.
 
With the birth of another daughter Swati, Kavita again planted a tree on the portico of her house.
 
Kaluchak embraced the seed of the new idea, imported from Dharhara, via a bride.
 
Kaluchak, however, is not the only place to have adopted the unique way of celebrating the birth of girls. Pinki Kumari, daughter of late Suman Singh of Dharhara, who was married at Kari Tand village in Begusarai district, motivated her husband and in-laws to plant 10 trees when her daughter Sonakshi was born.
 
Pinki’s mother, Chandrakala Devi, proudly recalls how that one act planted a strong tradition in Kari Tand, which today has many trees marking the birth of each girl in the village since then.
 
At Pakra village, located about 15km east of Dharhara, Lalita Devi planted saplings to mark the birth of her two daughters, Rishika and Yashika. “The whole family participated in the effort like a ritual,” she said.
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