The Rajasthani Girls!
“All of you are Children of God. So be free from selfishness and manifest the qualities of the Divine Father from today.” (BHAGWAN BABA)
I was pleasantly surprised to read an article in The Hindu Newspaper in April 2013 about a village in Rajasthan called Piplantri. Here is the gist of its amazingly inspiring story.
In an era where female foeticide and infanticide is common leading to skewed sex ratios, here is a community that deserves special accolades. It seems, whenever a girl child is born in the village, the villager folk plant 111 trees in her honour in the common areas of the village. The villagers, 8000 in numbers, together care for the saplings to ensure that they grow well. In the last 5-6 years, with an average of 60 girls being born here annually, what a large number of trees have been planted! The trees planted are in the likes of Mango, Neem, Amla, etc. A former Sarpanch (head) of the village who had lost his daughter a few years ago and had started this endeavour in her memory.
At the time the girl is born Rs.10,000/- are collected from her father and Rs.21,000/- are collected from the villagers. A fixed deposit for the entire sum is made in the name of the girl; to mature after 20 years. The parents are made to sign an affidavit that they will send her to school regularly and also look after the trees planted in her name. Also, that they shall not marry her off before the legal age!!!
And here is the best part. The area it seems is termite prone. So, the villagers planted Aloevera plants around the trees in large numbers. Not only the trees, but the Aloevera has also become a source of livelihood for the villagers.
The woman have been trained to harvest the Aloevera to make juice, gel etc. for which there is a huge market. The village has also banned alcohol and cutting of trees. Crime too has vanished of its own!
This write up in the newspaper touched me immensely. How a small idea can blossom into something so unique and beautiful. The girl child is often considered a liability in India, mainly because of the expense to be incurred at her wedding and even later in life at every small incident; happening or mis- happening. If we can educate our girls and make them as self- sufficient as our boys perhaps people shall stop thinking of girls as a liability.
God made man and woman to complement each other. What a man can do; a woman cannot. Obviously, what a woman can do; a man cannot. What water can do, petroleum cannot and what steel can do, gold cannot. Vice-versa is true too. The mobility of the ant causes it to go about and the immobility of the tree causes it to stay rooted. Every infinitesimal aspect of creation has been designed with a quantum of uniqueness to serve a purpose that can be fulfilled only by being that unique self.