Eco Feminism: 111 Trees For Every Girl Child Born

Posted on April 16, 2013 in Society

By Achilles Rasquinha:

Feminine — a word which speaks beyond than just being on the other side of the duality, along with its counterpart; just like the two poles tending towards any centre on the space-time continuum, just like the two sides of the same coin, just like any other duality that the cosmos plays, which have been implanted in one unified being. While our nation continues to cry out for the misery that our sisters yet face today, villages in Rajasthan and Bihar have a unique tale and ecstasy to share; a tale which tells us more about their humble pride of being gifted with a girl-child, tackling the very major social problem faced within our boundaries, that is, female foeticide.

Nature has been addressed to as feminine since time immemorial. The context of being nurtured and nourished by someone is the pure characteristic of the sacred feminine — a potential reason as to why we call it ‘Mother Nature’. Sacrifice, affection, shade are some of the many synonyms to a woman, and so is to pure nature. We’ve merged this gender to nature’s gifts which is vital to us, during our stay. A unique ideology of intersecting the sacred feminine with chastised ecology has been adopted in India by Rajasthan’s Piplantri village and a village in Bihar named Dharhara, enacting its way towards contributing to the belief of Green Politics — Eco-feminism.

Villagers of Piplantri village plant 111 trees every time a girl-child is born. Yes, you’ve read it well, 111 trees for each girl-child. Although the specific number of trees being planted still remains a mystery but villagers have something more to offer. A sworn statement is signed by them in the presence of the village council confirming that the villagers will not let the girl marry her off before legal age, assure to provide her with valued education and nurture the trees named on behalf of her at the same time. The ideology however, isn’t new. Paulownia is a genus of plants which in Japanese is known as kiri, and which also means as the “princess tree”. It continues to remain a Japanese tradition to plant the kiri every time a girl-child is born. A similar tradition which finds its similarities is amongst Jewish customs of planting trees in Israel on behalf of every good deed done among its brotherhood. Bihar’s Dharhara village, in the same way, aims to plant at least 10 saplings for every girl-child been born.

The methodology has its own fruits to provide. Not only there is an increase in rural development and environmental benefits, but it also increases the green cover of the state. The methodology further aims to equate the imbalanced sex ration tending towards unity and hence in a roundabout way, solve the problem of female foeticide. Female foeticide in our nation is a grave problem with over 10 million fetuses illegally aborted in India itself. The number surely shames us all but ‘111’ finds a new reason to raise our pride. The initiative doesn’t end here. Since the trees planted may be infested with termites, villagers plant over two and a half million Alovera plants around them. On knowing the usefulness of the Alovera in every bio-chemical field, villagers have now found out a new source for their livelihood; a true socio-economic boon.

Indeed, this methodology of interconnecting the sacred feminine to ecology has brought about a whole new meaning to woman empowerment. Traditions, such as these, always find ways for greater opportunities. Awareness and adaptation to such methodologies act as endowments to every village if followed.

Concern, investment, ‘go-green’ initiative, you name it. A slogan waits chanting in the niches of our nation, “For every woman, creates life.