Friday, January 15, 2016


This is a true story from long long ago. Almost three hundred years ago, in a village called Khejadli, lived Amrita
Khejadli village is near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The village got its name because of the many Khejadi trees that grew there.

The people of this village took great care of the plants, trees and animals. Goats, deers, hares and peacocks roamed fearlessly there. The people of the village remembered what their elders used to tell them. They used to say, “Agar perh hain to hum hain. Plants and animals can survive without us, but we can not survive without them.”
Amrita would get up early every morning and greet her friends – the trees. She would choose a special tree for the day. She would put her arms around the tree trunk and whisper to the tree, “Friend, you are strong and beautiful. You care for us. Thank you tree. I love you very much. Give your strength to me also.” Like Amrita, the other children also had their special trees. They would play for hours in the shade of the trees.
Trees in Danger:
Time went by. Amrita was now grown up. One day she went to greet her trees. She saw that there were some strangers in her village. They had axes with them.

 They said that the King had sent them to cut trees for wood. The wood was needed for building the King’s palace.
Amrita was shocked. She went to the tree that the men were about to cut. She put her arms around the tree and hugged it tightly. The men shouted and threatened her, but Amrita did not let go of the tree.
The King’s men had to follow his order. They had to cut the tree. On seeing this, Amrita’s daughters and hundreds of villagers –old and young – hugged the trees to protect them.
 Many people including Amrita and her daughters died to save the trees. When the King heard of this, he could not believe that people gave up their lives for trees. He visited the village himself. There he learned about villagers’ respect for trees and animals.

The Village is Protected…

The villagers’ strong feelings for trees affected the King greatly. He ordered that from then on, no tree would be cut and no animal harmed in that area.
Even today, almost three hundred years later, the people of this area, called Bishnois, continue to protect plants and animals. Even though in the middle of the desert, this area is green and animals roam freely without fear.
The Khejadi tree is found mainly in desert areas. It can grow without much water. Its bark is used for making medicines. People cook and eat its fruits (beans).
Its wood is such that it will not be affected by insects. Animals in this area eat the leaves of the Khejadi. And children like you, play in its shade.


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