111 Trees - How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh
posted by Preethi Chandrasekhar, September 07, 2020
Written by Rina Singh, 111 Trees - How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl is a picture book for children that talks about the bonds of humans and nature, sustainability, and the concept of eco-feminism!
This is the story about how one person brings a huge change to his village by planting trees celebrating the birth of girls!
Daughter, Water, and Trees become Shyam Sundar’s motto when he loses his daughter to an illness. He sees the devastation to the countryside and village because of the marble factory mining near his village and foresees the loss of his village’s future!
He ensures that the villagers promise to send their girls to school and put an end to the illegal practice of marrying the girls off before they are 18.
I read this book aloud to my 9 yr old, who had many questions about why there is inequality in India between boys and girls. She was fascinated by the term eco-feminism! Of course, I am an eco-feminist, she said.
The author’s note at the back mentions how India’s agricultural society fostered inequality between boys and girls, because boys are more useful in the fields. My daughter and I had a spirited discussion about why this may or may not be so based on our own chores in our vegetable garden. Girls get the weeding, planting and ensure the bugs don’t get the plants. We fertilize and harvest. The man of the house only does the heavy-lifting! Shouldn’t the girls be just as important for a good harvest?