This picture shows young girls from a village in Piplantri, an area in Rajastan, India. Something remarkable has been happening here since 2007. The village has begun the practice of celebrating the birth of girls–something unheard of before that time. When a girl is born in Piplantri the village plants 111 trees. In addition the family receives a village donation of 21,000 rupees which is put in a fixed bank account until the girl turns 20. At that age she may use the money for her education. The parents sign a promissory note that they will not marry her before that time.
Besides changing the attitude toward the birth of a girl baby which in the past was seen as unlucky, a curse, an unwanted expense to the family, the whole area is thriving financially. To protect the young seedling trees from insect damage, the village has planted thousands of aloe plants. In turn, these plants have been marketed for medicinal purposes, bringing in much needed revenue for the village. The work of planting and tending the trees and plants has provided much-needed jobs for the area. It’s a win-win for the village and a miracle in terms of the attitudes toward young girls and women.
India has presented the Nirmal Gram Award for Cleanliness to Piplantri. Crime has decreased due to a better job market and villagers are proud of what they’ve accomplished. The practice of celebrating the birth of baby girls is spreading in the area. Perhaps one day there will be no more female infanticide.
Good swallows evil. Light overcomes darkness.