Shyam Sunder Paliwal is a social activist from Piplantri, Rajasthan. He is well-known as ‘Father of Eco-Feminism.’
He was born on Thursday, 9 July 1964 (age 55 years; as in 2019), in Piplantri, Rajasthan. His zodiac sign is Cancer. He studied up to 12th standard. He dropped out of school and worked in a marble company.
Family, Caste & Wife
Shyam Sunder Paliwal was born in a Rajasthani family. His father’s name is Bhanwar Lal Paliwal, and his mother’s name is Navali Bai. When Shyam was 6 years old, his mother died due to snakebite. He has five brothers and two sisters. On 30 November 1987, he got married to Anita Paliwal. They were blessed with two daughters, Kiran and Himanshi and one son, Rahul. Shyam’s elder daughter Kiran died due to dehydration when she was 18 years old.
Father of Eco-Feminism
In 2006, there was a situation of drought in his village, Piplantri. Due to extensive mining in his village, there was a lack of water and vegetation. Another problem prevailing in the village was the evil custom of killing the girl child due to which the sex-ratio of the village was very low. He began his noble work by planting a Kadam tree (Burflower tree) in the remembrance of his daughter, Kiran; as it symbolises sublime love. When in an interview he was asked about his inspiration to work for such a noble cause, he said,
August 21, 2007, was the saddest day of my life, when my daughter Kiran, 16, returned from school with stomach pain. Despite been taken to hospital, she could not be saved. It was a terrible loss. But I decided my daughter shall stay with me forever. I also decided that each person in the village shall feel the pride to be a parent of a daughter.”
As soon as he became sarpanch of the village, he started ‘Kiran Nidhi Yojna.’ According to this Yojna, whenever a girl child is born in the village, 111 trees are planted and a fixed deposit of Rs. 31000 is made in which Rs. 10000 is contributed by the family of the girl child and rest by the panchayat and other villagers. Shyam Sunder and the people of his village have also planted aloe vera and rose plants and make various products by using it. This has helped in generating employment for the people of Piplantri.
He has also started ‘Swajaldhara Yojana,’ to preserve and conserve water, and around 1800 check dams have been constructed in the village. He has also promoted ‘Open Defecation Free India’ project in his village.
- Awarded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New India Conclave held in Delhi.
- Awarded by Akshay Kumar in New India Conclave, Mumbai.
- The story of Piplantri village is taught in the schools of Rajasthan and Denmark.
- At the entrance to Piplantri, a large hoarding is placed on which the names of all the girls born over the past year is mentioned.
- He daily inspects whether the work is being done properly or not.
- A 2016 government policy is inspired by Paliwal’s work for saving the girl child. In an interview, Dr Pankaj Gaur, a government official from Rajasthan said,
Under the policy, the family receives 2,500 rupees on her birth and the same amount on her first birthday. This is doubled to 5,000 rupees if she finishes class five and class eight. When girls finish class 12, they get 35,000 rupees, making an overall total of 50,000 rupees. “These benefits stop a girl being seen as a liability.”
- In 2017, a film in Hindi and Malayalam was made with the name ‘Piplantri,’ on the transformation story of Piplantri village.
- There is an Argentine movie made on him and his project, “Sisters of the Trees,” directed by Camila Menendez and Lucas Penyafort and produced by Victoria Chales.
- In 2007, Shyam was awarded the ‘Nirmal Gram Award’ by the then President Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
- In 2019, Shyam Sunder Paliwal and TV actress, Sakshi Tanwar, appeared in the ‘Karamveer’ episode (7 November 2019) of Kaun Banega Crorepati 11 (2019).