[Reader-list] "How fruit trees in Indian village save girls' lives"
Venugopalan K M
kmvenuannur at gmail.com
Tue Jun 15 22:22:29 IST 2010
I could have almost agreed with you, except for the presumption that anyone
has suggested this as a cure for all the ills. The dowry system in India
with its extreme manifestations of parental cruelty and negligence to girl
children has an economic co-ordinate. But for the economic factors, this
cruelty would not have been far more institutionalized among the poor
rather than the rich. The current crisis in conventional farming renders
even the land owning people debt-trapped and penniless and hence the
relevance of this kind of alternatives possibly with many surprises in
On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:48 PM, DULALI NAG <dulali.nag at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
>> reader-list: an open discussion list on media and the city.
>> Critiques & Collaborations
>> To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with
>> subscribe in the subject header.
>> To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
>> List archive: <https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>
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 whole.
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