[Reader-list] "How fruit trees in Indian village save girls' lives"
dulali.nag at gmail.com
Tue Jun 15 21:48:38 IST 2010
But does this act not indirectly support the system of dowry? I do
understand that an individual family may find it daunting, nay impossible,
to stand up against this custom and this is a dignified solution to them.
But only people with substantial private land can plant 15 to 30 trees and
then protect their fruit from vandals and robbers. I mean, these families
are not the poorest of poor and possibly not even lower middle class. They
are well-off enough to see such a project through and then benefit from it.
Can a dalit family ever hope to do this? Or even a poor non-dalit family?
On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:39 PM, Venugopalan K M <kmvenuannur at gmail.com>wrote:
> Really heartening, greening news; thanks for the post.
> A long standing structurally originated problem (of violence against
> women) gets tackled at least to a considerable extent and almost
> 'miraculously' ! One hopes this unique course of nature friendly and
> peaceful solution of problems could as well be a pointer to the
> future; let people be encouraged to find alternatives to sort out all
> man made problems through better understanding, peace and with mutual
> respect and goodwill.
> On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 2:56 PM, Kshmendra Kaul <kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com>
> > Tuesday, 15 June 2010
> > "How fruit trees in Indian village save girls' lives"
> > By Amarnath Tewary
> > Bhagalpur, Bihar
> > In India, where traditionally boys have been preferred over girls, a
> village in backward Bihar state has been setting an example by planting
> trees to celebrate the birth of a girl child.
> > In Dharhara village, Bhagalpur district, families plant a minimum of 10
> trees whenever a girl child is born.
> > And this practice is paying off.
> > Nikah Kumari, 19, is all set to get married in early June. The would-be
> groom is a state school teacher chosen by her father, Subhas Singh.
> > Mr Singh is a small-scale farmer with a meagre income, but he is not
> worried about the high expenses needed for the marriage ceremony.
> > For, in keeping with the village tradition, he had planted 10 mango trees
> the day Nikah was born.
> > The girl - and the trees - were nurtured over the years and today both
> are grown up.
> > Dowry deaths
> > "Today that day has come for which we had planted the trees. We've sold
> off the fruits of the trees for three years in advance and got the money to
> pay for my daughter's wedding," Mr Singh told the BBC.
> > "The trees are our fixed deposits," he said.
> > In Bihar, payment of dowry by the bride's family is a common practice.
> The price tag of the bridegroom often depends on his caste, social status
> and job profile.
> > The state is also infamous for the maximum number of dowry deaths in the
> > But the mango trees have freed Nikah's parents of undue worries. And
> their story is not unique in Dharhara village.
> > With a population of a little over 7,000, the village has more than
> 100,000 fully grown trees, mostly of mango and lychee.
> > From a distance, the village looks like a forest or a dense green patch
> amidst the parched and arid cluster of villages in the area.
> > 'Great value'
> > And most residents can be spotted sitting in the cool orchards outside
> their homes.
> > "Now, we've stopped doing traditional farming of wheat and paddy. We
> plant as many trees as we can since they are more profitable and
> dependable," said villager Shyam Sunder Singh.
> > Mr Singh paid for the weddings of his three daughters after selling
> fruits of trees he had planted at the time of their birth.
> > "One medium-size mango orchard is valued at around 200,000 rupees
> ($4,245; £2,900) every season. These trees have great commercial value and
> they are a big support for us at the time of our daughter's marriage," he
> > The villagers say they save a part of the money earned through the sale
> of fruits every year in a bank account opened in their daughter's name.
> > The tree-planting has been going on in the village for generations now.
> > "We heard about it from our fathers and they from their fathers. It has
> been in the family and the village from ages," says Subhendu Kumar Singh, a
> school teacher.
> > "This is our way of meeting the challenges of dowry, global warming and
> female foeticide. There has not been a single incident yet of female
> foeticide or dowry death in our village," he says.
> > His cousin, Shankar Singh, planted 30 trees at the time of his daughter
> Sneha Surabhi's birth.
> > Sneha, four, is aware that her father has planted trees in her name; the
> child says she regularly waters the saplings.
> > As yet she doesn't know what dowry is, and says the trees will bear
> fruits for her "to eat".
> > The village's oldest resident, Shatrughan Prasad Singh, 86, has planted
> around 500 mango and lychee trees in his 25 acres of land.
> > His grand-daughters, Nishi and Ruchi, are confident the trees mean their
> family will have no problem paying for their weddings.
> > "The whole world should emulate us and plant more trees," says their
> father Prabhu Dayal Singh.
> > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/10204759.stm
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> You cannot build anything on the foundations of caste. You cannot
> build up a nation, you cannot build up a morality. Anything that you
> will build on the foundations of caste will crack and will never be a
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