Children planting saplings at a school in Uttar Pradesh under the Team Balika initiative
Over 4,700 youth volunteers came together to plant 6000 tree saplings on the occasion of International Youth Day
New Delhi (India), August 16: Educate Girls, a non-proﬁt organisation committed to working with marginalised communities to promote girls’ education in rural India, organised a plantation drive to mark International Youth Day on August 12, 2023. Undertaken by its devoted team of community volunteers, known as Team Balika, the theme of this impactful initiative was ‘Ek Pedh Balika Shiksha ke Liye’ translating to ‘A Tree for Girls’ Education’, aligning seamlessly with this year’s overarching theme of “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”.
The plantation drive saw over 4,700 Team Balika members planting over 6000 tree saplings across the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. In addition to highlighting the importance of girls’ education, this initiative by Educate Girls also aimed at drawing focus towards its role in fostering sustainability and combating climate change.
As part of the event, volunteers not only planted trees but also engaged in informative sessions about the importance of green practices, encouraging sustainable behaviour in local communities. The drive aimed to sensitise young minds about the environment’s fragility and the critical role they play in its preservation.
The “Ek Pedh Balika Shiksha ke Liye” initiative highlights how the connection between girls’ education and the promotion of sustainability and climate change mitigation is unequivocal, and how educated girls rise as formidable catalysts for tackling these issues. With access to quality education, these girls can go on to attain a heightened capacity to propel innovation and promote eco-friendly practices, thereby bringing about transformation within their communities.
“Our “Ek Pedh Balika Shiksha ke Liye” initiative goes beyond the act of planting trees. It aims to instil environmental sensitivity in young people, promote green skills and draw attention to how education and sustainability are interdependent. Our Team Balika ﬁrmly believes that an educated girl signiﬁes more than just an empowered individual; she is a catalyst for positive transformation within her community and the world at large,” stated Vikram Singh Solanki, Head of Field Operations, Educate Girls. “Embracing the profound theme of “Green Skills For Youth” on this year’s International Youth Day, this drive strongly resonates with our commitment to driving change, as we collectively contribute to a better world for generations ahead,” he further added.
Sunita Devi, Team Balika, Prayagraj District, shared her motivation for the initiative “Every individual has a duty to plant a tree in their life and take care of it. By planting trees in larger numbers, we can conserve the environment. Due to continuous deforestation, environmental pollution is increasing. Through this initiative, we will create awareness in society for both girls’ education and a greener future.”
Founded by visionary leader Safeena Husain in 2007, Educate Girls is a non-proﬁt organisation committed to bridging the gender gap and mobilising communities for girls’ education in India’s rural and educationally backward areas. Working in partnership with the government, Educate Girls currently operates in over 21,000 villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
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