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Gates Foundation

There are many memorable ways to celebrate a baby's arrival.

Beautiful moment from "The Lion King."


Piplantri, a small village in India, has its own: it turns green.

Beautiful moment from Piplantri village.

Whenever a girl is born, Piplantri village members come together and plant 111 trees to commemorate a new life of health and opportunity.

As reported in The Hindu, by 2013, more than 250,000 trees were planted around the village. And the tradition is still going strong.

To make sure the trees stay healthy, strong, and supported — just like its girls — village members also plant aloe vera plants around the trees. It's not only a smart tactic to keep termites away, but it's also served as a source of income through the creation of aloe-based products.

How cool is that?

It's especially heartwarming to see the positive attention this village places on girls since India — among many other countries — still has a culture that heavily prioritizes boys over girls.

In a lot of places, parents refuse to accept having a girl. And when girls are constantly viewed as not important, they often miss out on the chance to go to school, are forced into early marriage, and never get to reach their full potential.

Piplantri is working to change that. Because girls rock.




And they've got some unique ways of going about it.

"We make 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," said Piplantri's former village head, Shyam Sundar Paliwal.

And that isn't all.

Village members also collectively contribute around $500 to be put aside until the girl turns 20. Her parents can then collect the money, which helps to encourage them to accept, educate, and care for their daughter during her adolescent years.

It's a small and interesting way to celebrate life, fight gender discrimination, and set a village up for success.

In Piplantri, they know that their community is a lot stronger when girls have equal opportunities ... and it can turn a lot greener, too.

Imagine if other places in the world put their girls first. Oh, the possibilities!

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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