The Inspiring Journey of Saalumarada Thimmakka: The Environmentalist of Karnataka Saalumarada Thimmakka stands out among southern India women not for her lineage or wealth but due to her passion for environmental conservation in Karnataka State. Devoted her life to planting and nurturing trees.
Who is Saalumarada Thimmakka?
Born 112 years ago, Thimmakka, also known by the moniker Aala Marada Thimmakka, is an environmentalist hailing from Karnataka. Thimmakka stands apart from many celebrated individuals due to her lack of formal education; instead she worked as a laborer at a quarry throughout most of her life and made significant environmental contributions despite this circumstance. Thimmakka will always be remembered not for the educational qualifications but the remarkable environmental contributions she made throughout her lifetime.
What is Thimmakka’s most celebrated achievement?
Thimmakka’s determination led her to plant 385 banyan trees, spanning a 45-kilometer stretch between Hulikal and Kudur. Her dedication was recognized when President Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented her with the award at an investiture ceremony held on 16 March 2019 in New Delhi, while Central University of Karnataka recognized its significance and awarded an Honorary Doctorate to her.
Why did Thimmakka embark on this tree-planting journey?
Life wasn’t always kind to Thimmakka. Unable to bear children, she found solace in planting trees, treating them as her offspring. The banyan trees she planted were her way of filling the void of not having children.
How has Thimmakka been recognized for her efforts?
The Government of India, acknowledging her immense contribution, honored her with the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2019. Moreover, her dedication was recognized when she was presented the award by the President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at an investiture ceremony in New Delhi on 16 March 2019. The Central University of Karnataka, understanding the importance of her work, conferred an honorary doctorate upon her in 2020. She has also been the recipient of the National Citizen’s Award of India.
Has Thimmakka’s legacy transcended borders?
Absolutely. Thimmakka’s work has inspired many across the globe. An environmental organization in the U.S., named Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education, stands as a testament to her far-reaching influence.
When was Thimmakka recently hospitalized?
On October 3, Thimmakka was admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Jayanagar, after she experienced symptoms of tiredness and breathlessness.
How is Saalumarada Thimmakka’s current health?
Given her advanced age, health remains a main priority. While her condition appears stable now, we will closely monitor it moving forward. Thimmakka’s history of asthma, combined with her age, poses challenges for the medical team. Dr. Ravindra Mehta, who has been consulting Thimmakka for over eight years, mentioned the difficulties due to her reduced lung capacity and her severe asthmatic condition.
Thimmakka’s journey, from being a casual laborer to a celebrated environmentalist, serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that passion combined with action can indeed bring about a change.