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Bharat Goenka

April 7, 2015 divider image

We rightfully take immense pride in identifying ourselves as members of one of the largest Rotary club in India, trying to live in reality the Rotary motto “Service above Self”. Every President, year after year tries to better his predecessor’s achievements and – yes we do a lot of meaningful work in the field of youth, literacy, health, hygiene, water, sanitation, international understanding etc etc. But have we ever done an introspection whether all our projects, activities are really bringing about a revolutionary change in a mind set and a long term social impact on the community. The nation and everybody also talk of women empowerment, but what have we really done about it?

In an atmosphere where every morning, our newspapers greet us with stories of girls being tormented, raped, killed or treated like a doormat in one way or another, trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time to time.

A new word emerges “Eco-feminism”. There is an obscure village called Piplantri in Rajasthan. For the last several years, Piplantri village panchayat has been saving girl children and increasing the green cover in and around it at the same time.

Here, villagers plant 111 trees every time a girl is born and the community ensures these trees survive, attaining fruition as the girls grow up. Village residents collect Rs. 21,000 between themselves and Rs.10000 from the girl’s parents. This sum of Rs.31000 is made into a 20-year fixed deposit for the girl.

But here’s the best part. The village panchayat makes these parents sign an affidavit promising that they would not marry her off before the legal age, send her to school regularly and take care of the trees planted in her name. The village panchayat, which has a studio-recorded anthem and a website of its own, has completely banned alcohol, open grazing of animals and cutting of trees. Villagers claim there has not been any police case here for the last 7-8 years.

This wonderful eco-conscious tradition ensures that an increase in human population will never come at a cost to the environment. It is literally helping to ensure a greener future with each new generation.
This is a heart warming and inspiring story that MUST be shared and replicated as much as possible across India and the world.

जागो रोटेरिन्स जागो.

Bharat Goenka

President




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