In an atmosphere where every morning, our newspapers greet us with stories of girls being killed, raped, humiliated , tormented or treated like a doormat in one or another way but still some good people are here who really care about. Today, the team India the nation find a inspiring story of Piplantri village in Rajasthan where people used to respect their girls and the villagers plant 111 tress every time a girl is born and the community ensures these trees survive, attaining fruition as the girls grow up.
Over the years, people here have managed to plant over a quarter million trees on the village’s grazing commons- including Neem, Sheesham, Mango, Amla among others.
The initiative has also helped the town’s economy. To keep termites away from the trees, many of which bear fruit, the village has planted more than 2.5 million Aloe Vera plants around them. Gradually, the villagers realized that Aloe vera could be processed and marketed in a variety of ways. So the community invited some experts and asked them to train our women.Now residents produces and markets aloe-based products like juice and gel, pickle, among other things.
The village panchayat, which has a studio-recorded anthem and a website of its own, has completely banned alcohol, open grazing of animals and cutting of trees. Villagers claim there has not been any police case here for the last 7-8 years.
To ensure the financial security, after the birth of a girl child , the villagers contribute Rs. 21,000 from the village residents and Rs.10,000 from the girl’s father and this sum of Rs. 31,000 is made into a fixed deposit for the girl, with a maturity period of 20 years. To make sure girl child receives proper education, the villagers make the parents sign an affidavit which also restricts them from marrying her off, before she attains the legal age for marriage.
People also plant 11 trees whenever a family member dies.
On an average 60 girls are born here every year, according to the Piplantri village’s former sarpanch Shyam Sundar Paliwal, who started this initiative in 2006 in the memory of his daughter Kiran, who died a few years ago. Mr. Paliwal recalls the visit of social activist Anna Hazare, who was very happy with the progress made by the village.