A local initiative in the Chhattisgarh area in India aims at providing education for the children of poor familes. The school requires the parents or the guardians of the child to plant a sapling each and take care of it. If the tree dies, the parents are asked to plant another one in its place.
“Shiksha Kuteer has opened in the village for students who are poor and have no money to pay fees. Students are being taught in English medium. They are being taught till a certain standard and their guardians have been asked to plant saplings instead of paying fees,” said a villager, Sevak Das, quote from ANI , found on sciencealert.com
The goal is to provide education to students who cannot afford to pay school fees, planting a tree is a symbolic cost, compared to the actual fees that parents are usually required to pay. The governement in India spends just 3.9% on education which forces heavy expenses on parents. Private expenditure per student each year is around 100$ and this is not something that many rural families can afford. The cost of education has tripled since 2008.
At least 35 students, aged four to five are studying in this school and over the last year at least 700 saplings have been planted across the village. The initiative is going to get children closer to nature, but it is also going to have a real impact on local deforestation. Planting trees empowers people in the fight against air pollution in India where the number of deaths per day due to air pollution was 3,238 in 2015.