MUMBAI: Around three lakh households in Maharashtra where a girl child was born in the last one year will soon get a gift of ten saplings each from the state forest department.
The scheme, `Kanya Van Samruddhi Yojana', has a dual purpose: to increase the green cover in the state as well as celebrate the birth of a girl child, an official said.
Saplings will be of the tress which have some economic value, such as the teak, bamboo and fruit trees, said Vikas Kharge, principal secretary of the Forest Department.
Forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had announced the scheme in June this year.
"These saplings can be planted in front of the house or in the field.
The idea is to celebrate the birth of a girl child as well as to ensure that the green cover increases," said Kharge.
The department has collected the data of families where a girl child was born from gram panchayats.
These families will also get training in horticulture, he said.
Around 30 lakh saplings will be distributed under the scheme.
It is a part of the government's target of planting 33 crore saplings in 2019 under the tree plantation drive, said the official.
This year, the department claimed to have planted 13 crore saplings.
Forest officials claimed that its plantation drives have started showing results in the form of increased tree cover.
According to the Maharashtra government, 20 per cent of the state is under forest cover, which is much less than the target of 33 per cent set by the national forest policy.
"Schemes like the Kanya Van Samruddhi Yojana will help us achieve this target," said Kharge.