The Major Issues
Global Warming, one of the major problems staring at and daring the humans in the 21st century. It is needless to say that we are burning down our planet. With increasing industrialization and urbanization, that day is not far when children would be taught about trees in their history classes.
Another disgusting issue, in the garb of superstitions, rituals, and beliefs, is prevalent in several countries across the globe – female foeticide. Though necessary steps have been taken to curb this menace, some places still consider girls to be burdens on their parents. Even India is battling against this cause of worry. In such a scenario, the place in Rajasthan, Piplantri Village deserves not only special mention but also some reverence for the rest.
Piplantri – A Different Village
Piplantri is a small village in the western state of Rajasthan. As we know, Rajasthan is one of the driest states in India, with frequent droughts and dry spells. Scanty vegetation is a characteristic of this region. But if you visit the Piplantri village, the scene is entirely different. Lush green vegetation surrounds this magical village. And, no magician is responsible for this magic. The credit goes to the eco-friendly villagers of Piplantri.
The Unique Tradition
Every time a girl child is born in this village, all the villagers gather to celebrate a unique tradition. They together plant 111 trees in the name of that baby girl. The parents sign an affidavit pledging to provide formal education to their daughter and not marry her off before she is 18-years-old. They also ensure the proper nurturing of the newly planted trees. The villagers contribute Rs. 21,000 and the parents give Rs. 10,000 to be deposited in a bank for the girl’s requirements.
This eco-feminist idea is the brainchild of a former village head, Shyam Sundar Paliwal, who lost his daughter when she was very young. He started this initiative in memory of his beloved daughter. Since then, the village has not looked back. Mother Nature is aptly rewarding this noble thought. Over the years, the trees planted, like Neem, Pipal, Sheesham and Aloe Vera, have been of great economic value to the villagers. Also, deforestation and alcohol are banned in this village. Furthermore, this village has its own brand and also has an official website!
The Piplantri village is a living example of ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ Hats off to Mr. Paliwal who transformed his sorrow into his strength. And this power of his has strengthened an entire village. We need more village heads like him!