This book shares the extraordinary story of Shyam Sundar Paliwal and how he used trees to fight for gender equality. Trees have always been influential in his life. After his mother died when he was a child, he used to hug trees to remember her. When his own daughter died he came up with the idea of planting 111 trees with the birth of every girl in his village. The 111 represented the 3 lines he drew on the ground standing for Daughter, Water, and Trees. His village was against it at first because of their belief that only males should be honored. Sundar worked to change this and convinced them to also vow to give their daughters an education and not marry them off until they are 18. Much to their surprise once they started planting trees they benefited in other areas. They planted aloe vera to keep termites off the trees which also provided a source of income for the women. They built an irrigation system to supply water to the trees which allowed them to have drinking water accessible. The trees also brought the return of plants and animals to the area.
This is an amazing story of a person and a village creating huge change in their community. The end of the book includes real pictures of the villages and the lush green environment that is now there. I love the powerful example of ecofeminism, the combination of gender equality and protection of the environment, that it shows. We need more stories like this.
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Publisher: Welcome | Kids Can Press
I was kindly given this book for my honest review but all opinions are my own.
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