This Amazing Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Little Girl is Born
Every culture has its own traditions surrounding the birth of a child. While we celebrate newborn girls by sending pink dresses and dolls, in the village of Piplantri in Rajasthan, India, they celebrate by planting 111 trees.
That’s right, every time a little girl is born in Piplantri, 111 trees are planted in her honor!
In most Indian villages, the birth of a daughter was historically considered a burden for a family. Rural villages operate on the dowry system which contributes to the high cost of marriage for households with daughters. As a result, daughters were often regarded as lesser than their male counterparts and many were married before they reached the age of 18; few received a proper education.
Violence against women derived from these attitudes is still a heated topic in India. The documentary “India’s Daughters,” was recently banned due to its upfront portrayal of rape and abuse in the country.
In juxtaposition, the tradition of planting trees to welcome the birth of female children in Piplantri seems to completely reject these historical constraints, fostering hope that attitudes towards women can change.
This amazing custom was started by former village leader Shyam Sundar Paliwal to honor his daughter who passed away when she was young. Although Paliwal no longer serves as the village’s leader, the tradition has continued nonetheless.
When a girl is born, village members band together to raise a sort of “trust” for the girl. The parents contribute one-third of the sum of 31,000 Rupees, equivalent to $500, and the money is set aside as a 20-year fund for the girl. This ensures that she will never be considered a financial burden for her parents.
In return for this trust, the parents sign a legal affidavit that states that the daughter will only be married after she reaches the age of 18 and has received a proper education. The affidavit states that the 111 trees must be taken care of as well.
It’s a clever little catch, but the practice of planting trees in conjunction with the birth of a child actually works to ensure that the local environment will be able to support the ever growing population.
Not only does this beautiful tradition foster a deep appreciation for females in the village, but it also instills a remarkable sense of environmental stewardship.
Via One Green Planet