PATNA: Pakuali village in Bihar’s Vaishali district has a ‘scented’ tradition to promote gender equality — a sander sapling is planted, right outside the house, whenever a girl child is either born or a daughter gets married.
This age-old tradition has resulted in Pakuali boasting of about 3,000 sander trees within its limits. “There are a total of 133 villages in Bidupur Block, of which Pakauli is one of them. Every family plants sapling at their doorstep to welcome the two events with tradition,” Pankaj Chauhan, a social worker, says.
“A girl is like a sandal, which takes all the pains but gives ‘sugandh’(fragrance) to her family,” says Sona Devi, another villager. But it is just not about emotions, as the trees can come in good stead when these households fall in bad times. “A fully grown sanders tree can fetch prices between `50,000 and `1 lakh, depending on its age and length,” Pakuali resident Pankaj Chauhan chips in.
Villagers also take due care of their trees as they have installed CCTV cameras to save them from lumbers and thieves. “Call it a coincidence, but sanders grow only in this village. Our neighbouring villages tried to grow these trees but they failed,” claims a villager. No wonder that Anil Singh, 65, a merchant, recalls that when he was a child, a man used to come all the way from Vaishali to buy sanders.
Hoping for encore
Team India is unbeaten in their march to final. What will give them confidence is their win against Aussies.