SHYAM SUNDAR PALIWAL, THE FORMER leader of a small village in Rajasthan, India, lost his daughter Kiran when she was very young. In 2006, he took it upon himself to make sure that the other residents of his village, Piplantri, would cherish the life of each girl child to come.
Paliwal implemented an initiative to plant 111 trees to celebrate the birth of each girl born in the village. The villagers plant the trees on Piplantri’s grazing commons, and the community ensures that the trees survive and grow to adulthood, as the Hindu reports. Village residents collect Rs. 21,000 (around $315) and the girl’s parents contribute Rs. 10,000 (around $150), creating a Rs. 31,000 fixed deposit account for the girl which sees her through adulthood.
In addition, as the parents plant the trees, they sign a legal affidavit stating that their daughter will receive a full education and will not be married before she comes of the legal age of 18.