In 2007, Shyam Sundar Paliwal, planted a tree in memory of his 17-year-old daughter after she died of dehydration. This started a transformation in the village of Piplantri, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. About 15 years later, there are nearly 400,000 trees of various Indigenous varieties. Their growth has prompted an improvement in the status of the village’s girls and women, and is repairing environmental damage caused by decades of marble mining. After the first tree was planted, Shyam Sundar was convincing other villagers to honor their daughters by planting trees in their name. “As sarpanch, I began using government funds available for village development to plant and maintain 111 trees for every newborn girl,” he said. The approach connects to eco-feminism – which draws a direct correlation between how a society treats women, people of color, and the underclass and how the natural environment is treated. “Girls, trees, water, biodiversity, village commons -- only when they flourish together, can one dare to have hope for the future,” said Shyam Sundar.

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