A Rajasthan village which celebrates each girl child with 111 trees

The village is called Piplantri. It could very well be re-named ‘pi-plant-tree’.
Piplantri--village-in-Rajasthan-s-Rajsamand-district-celebrates-the-birth-of-a-girl-by-planting-111-trees-HT-Photo
Piplantri--village-in-Rajasthan-s-Rajsamand-district-celebrates-the-birth-of-a-girl-by-planting-111-trees-HT-Photo
Updated on Mar 08, 2015 09:12 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Jaipur

The village is called Piplantri. It could very well be re-named ‘pi-plant-tree’.

For, this village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district celebrates the birth of a girl by planting 111 trees, a unique achievement in a state where female foeticide is rampant and the sex ratio is one of the most skewed in the country.

For Piplantri, the international Women’s Day on March 8 may not mean anything but for the past eight years, villagers have religiously stuck to this tradition initiated by the village panchayat.

Shyam Sundar Paliwal, the former sarpanch who started the scheme in 2006, explained that while the parents plant the trees, the panchayat opens a fixed deposit account for the girl child.

But that’s not all.

The parents must also nurture the saplings till they are mature and also sign an affidavit saying they would not marry off their daughters before 18 years of age and that no one in their family will indulge in foeticide.

This initiative for the girl child has seen villagers planting an astounding number of 286,000 trees in eight years.

“A girl child is considered a burden because in most parts of Rajasthan, like in many other parts of the country, her marriage is an expensive proposition. The FD account was to give the parents a sense of financial security,” Paliwal said over phone from Piplantri, around 350 km from state capital Jaipur.

He said that for the FD account, Rs 21,000 is collected as donation from villagers while the panchayat gives Rs 10,000.

Paliwal’s term ended on 2010, but his successors and the villagers have turned it into a movement of sorts.

Gehrilal Balai, 28, who planted 111 saplings last year, said he felt the same happiness in looking after the saplings as lulling his daughter to sleep.

“Now we have decided we will plant a sapling on her each birthday,” he added.

During a visit to the village in August last year, chief minister Vasundhara Raje was effusive in her praise for the initiative.

“A little love, some knowledge and lots of hard work have transformed this panchayat. Best use of government schemes. Congratulations to former sarpanch and villagers. It should be showcased to more people and they should replicate it in their panchayats,” Raje wrote in the visitor’s book at the panchayat office.

When reached for his comments, Rajsamand district magistrate KC Verma hoped that the panchayat’s efforts will continue.

“(The) sky should be the limit,” he said.

The 2001 census gave an indication of the social changes the effort has brought – a sex ratio of 1,000 females to 1,000 males in the entire district.

Though it came down to 990 in the 2011 census, it is still far above the state’s ratio of 929:1,000 male.

The 2011-12 annual health survey also showed that in rural Rajasthan, 20.3% of the women are married off before they attain the age of 18.

“This is something we want to change. And Piplantri is on its way,” Paliwal added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rakesh Goswami leads Hindustan Times’ bureau in Rajasthan. He loves to write on social issues and has been a journalist for 20 years, including 8 years as a broadcast journalist.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • 100 students of a private engineering college in Sikkim reported skin allergies. (File image)

    Panic in North Bengal, Sikkim as Nairobi Fly causes skin burns, rashes

    Panic gripped a large section of people living in the hilly regions of north Bengal and neighbouring state Sikkim after more than 100 people reported skin allergies triggered by an insect popularly known as Nairobi Fly. While around 100 students of a private engineering college in east Sikkim reported skin allergies in the last couple of days, similar cases have also been reported from Mirik, Darjeeling and Siliguri.

  • People sit by the seashore during monsoon rains at Marine Drive in Mumbai. (PTI Photo)

    Mumbai rain latest updates: Central Railway to hold emergency block | Top points

    A two-hour emergency block, the timings of which are yet to be announced, will be performed by Central Railway and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to remove the balance portion of a wall, after a part of the structure collapsed on tracks near Masjid railway station. Trains under Western Railway, at the time of last update (11am), were running normally. Read Rain batters India in rare monsoon sprint (4.)

  • Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann during his wedding ceremony in Chandigarh. AAP leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Raghav Chadha are also seen. 

    Bhagwant Mann marries Dr Gurpreet Kaur: Wedding over, this is the lunch menu

    A spread of lip-smacking food was laid out for Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann's wedding function in Chandigarh. A food menu of the function, obtained by news agency ANI, showed that guests at the wedding were served the best of Indian cuisine including Karahi Paneer, Tandoori Kulche, Dal Makhani, Navratan Biryani, Mausami Subzian. They also got to devour some Italian dishes including the Lasagna Siciliano. This is Bhagwant Mann's second marriage.

  • Violence broke out in Karnataka's Kerur on Wednesday over alleged eve-teasing. (ANI)

    ‘Personal issues’ led to communal clashes in Karnataka's Kerur, says CM Bommai

    A communal clash that broke out in Karnataka's Kerur was due to 'personal issues' between the two sides, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Thursday, a day after violence erupted in the town over alleged eve-teasing. The situation in Kerur continues to be peaceful but tense, and a total of 18 people – from both the Hindu and Muslim communities – have been arrested. Overall, at least four people were injured in the clashes.

  • They went to sleep while keeping the chowmein dryer machine turned on. (File image)

    Odisha: 3 workers die of asphyxiation at chowmein factory in Gajapati

    In a tragic incident, three people working in a chowmein factory in Gajapati district of Odisha died of asphyxiation on Wednesday night after they went to sleep while keeping the chowmein dryer machine turned on. Police officials in Gajapati said the three workers in the chowmein factory at Narayan Nagar of Mohana area had gone to sleep after putting the soggy chowmein noodles to dry in the chowmein dryer machine.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022