What do couples normally do to celebrate the occasion of their baby-naming ceremony? Host a big party for kith and kin? This couple from Shivajinagar, Pune, however, resolved to celebrate the occasion in a way that helps them conserve our environment.

They planted 101 trees at the Malshiras village near Bhuleshwar temple in Yavat. This area has been facing droughts for some years now. The situation is expected to hopefully change. Besides this, they also donated donated 51 more saplings to students of a local village school.

Plants grown

The parents, along with some of their relatives and friends, planted a variety of flora, including neem, mango, chiku, bamboo, coconut, palm, gulmohar, banyan, Java plum, sacred fig, tamarind, etc. Sticks and netting were also put around the plants as a safeguard against animals. Later, a cake was cut and the daughter was named Alisha.

Read also: Creating Awareness to Save The Girl Child, Dr Harshinder Kaur

Besides addressing the problem of illicit felling of trees, the couple also wanted to spread the message of girls’ empowerment

Parents

Ranjeet Naik, the father, runs an AutoCad software training institute in Kothrud. The mother, Neha Naik, is a professor at a Symbiosis institute in Viman Nagar. The latter delivered a baby girl on August 18.

Giving back to nature

Talking about his endeavour, Ranjeey told TOI, “Nature gives us so much, and it is high time we returned the favour. Our primary hope was to forge a new tradition for our generation — a more holistic one, to be followed by many more people. When I first mentioned this tree plantation idea to my kith and kin, they were enthused. Luckily for us, a friend suggested this spot in Malshiras, where he owns some agricultural land that happens to be open for plantation.This gave us 3.5 acres of land to plant new trees; there was no water problem either, as there is a pond in the area and we plan to deploy a water tanker. Planting may be easy, but it is more important to maintain the trees.”

Valuing the girl child

Besides addressing the problem of illicit felling of trees, the couple also wanted to spread the message of girls’ empowerment. Talking about the same, the mother told The Mirror,”The decline of females in India’s sex ratio has been unstoppable. Women are one half of society, and equals in every respect to men. To bring about social equilibrium, it is necessary to raise awareness about saving the girl child. Ecological awareness is equally important. We felt that an effort for both should start from our home, and we hope our child’s generation follows this trend. We look forward to seeing the trees grow with her.”

A lot of rural folks also backed their initiative by participating in the plantation drive. It is good to see young people striving to break stifling societal norms and taking concrete measures to save the society and environment.
Picture credits : TOI
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