Planting of trees by families on birth of a girl child, the theme of Bihar’s tableau in this year’s Republic Day parade, has worked wonders for a village in Bhagalpur by improving the environment and providing financial security to girls.
The tradition in Dharhara village, about 40 km from Bhagalpur, was popularised by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who was so impressed by it that he decided to launch a welfare scheme “Pahli Kilkari Yojna” from there on Environment Day last year, official sources said.
According to the practise, a family plants a fruit bearing tree on the birth of a girl child. The fruits provide financial insurance for the girl as the family deposits the money by selling them in her name.
The money, which multiplies in the course of time, is spent during the marriage of the girl.
BJP spokesman and Bhagalpur MP Shahnawaz Hussain told PTI that the tradition has proved a boon for the girl child.
“The village sends an important message not only to other parts of Bihar but outside too...it should be popularised across the country,” Mr. Hussain added.
Besides, financially empowering the girl, the custom has a positive impact on the environment of the area, he said.
Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of Naughachia, Sushil Kumar said the government provides all possible help to the village to encourage this practise which has spread to many other neighbouring areas.
Subodh Kumar Kushwaha, a villager, said due to this healthy tradition, everyone feels happy on birth of a girl child in their family.
Locals said earlier people used to plant seesam (Indian Rosewood) tree on the occasion but it was not successful as the tree started decaying due to some unknown disease, besides taking a long time in maturing. This prompted people to go for cash-rich trees like banana and mango.