Piplantri village in Rajasthan is making news for initiatives that encourage empowerment of women and environment conservation, along with increasing employment opportunities. All these, thanks to one man who dreamt big for his village.
Sociologists, political analysts and intellectuals have for long been concerned about the constantly declining sex ratio in many parts of India in the last few decades. At a time when even stringent legal provisions have not been able to end female infanticide and foeticide, one man’s mission in a village has set an example of reformation.
For the people of Piplantri in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, the birth of a girl child meant bad news. Female foeticide and infanticide were not unheard of. This was mainly due to the hefty dowry system prevalent in the village. Enters social campaigner and ex-sarpanch of Piplantri village, Shyam Sunder Paliwal who envisioned a bright future for the girls. He believed that if the parents of newborn girls planted trees and nurtured them for 18 years, they could arrange enough money for the girl’s wedding when she comes of age.
Paliwal says, “Analysing the statistics of the village for many years, I have observed that on an average, there are about 120 child births during a year, out of which half or 60 are girls. It has been our effort that our daughters become self-reliant so that parents do not consider them a burden.”