Isn't it always nice when you hear a story that breaks the rules, that goes off-track, and inspires, even if it's just a little bit. Like when the boy who failed every subject in his semester exams, tops the whole school. Or when the girl with the lisp overcomes her fears and becomes a champion orator.
That's what the story of this village is like.
In a country that marginally favours boys over girls, there actually exists a village that celebrates the birth of a girl child. And not only do they rejoice, make merry and whatnot, they take substantial steps to commemorate the birth of the girl.
Piplantri, a small village in Rajasthan has been taking steps, in their own way, to save the girl child. Over here, the villagers plant 111 trees every time a girl is born. And it doesn't just stop there. At the time of birth, 21K rupees are collected from the village residents, 10k rupees from the girl's father, and the total amount is deposited in a fixed deposit for the girl; one that matures after 20 years. It's a tangible step to ensure the education, and future of the girl child.
The village panchayat also makes the parents sign an affidavit that states that they will send their daughter to school regularly, take care of the trees planted in her name, and promise to not get her married before the legal age. It's a brilliant tactic, which ensures that not only is the girl child safeguarded from feticide, child marriage, and other atrocities, but that she is educated and taken care of.
And the village doesn't just wave a flag of gender equality; it also does lots for the environment. For starters, in the six years that this tradition has been practiced, they've managed to plant over a quarter of a million trees. With two and half million Aloevera plants surrounding them that ensure that these tress actually make it in the long haul.
Who would've thunk that we'd find the solution to two of India's biggest problems in a small village in Rajasthan? But now that we have, it's about time we start following suit!