Salumarada Thimmakka, a remarkable women of our century, an ardent tree lover and noted environmentalist, despite no formal education. She is also known as Alada Marada Thimakka for planting and tending to over 385 banyan treess along a 4 kms stretch on the highway between Hulikal and Kudur.
Thimakka is in love with trees from decades, over 8000 trees, in 66 years she first started with ten saplings in the first year, 15 in the second and 20 saplings in the third consequtive year.
Born in Gubbi Taluk of Tumkur district she was married to Chikkayya from Hulikal Village in Magadi taluk, Ramanagara. The couple had no children and because she coudn’t give birth to a child of her own she had to undergo a horrendous amount of torture from her husband’s family. She also said she tried commiting suicide but a plant saved her life hence motivating her to save the plant’s life.
How Thimmakka's Life Transformed?
Notwithstanding the difficulties faced by his wife Thimakka’s husband chikkayya moved out of his parents house and and this is when Thimakka decided to tend to saplings. She treated them like her children. She and her husband Chikkayya fenced the plants for protection from cattles.
“My oldest tree is 65 yrs old,”she once told.
Protection of trees came to her naturally. Both her husband and wife continued to plant and guard saplings for around 63 years until her husband passed away in 1991. Even after his death the strong lady, Thimakka with determination and grit continues her contribution to green revolution.
Her selfless service for almost 7 decades has gained attention of International institutions and has been hugely successful in her journey to make a difference,
At the age of 106 Salumarada Thimmakka was conferred the Padmashri Award on 26th Jan, 2019, Republic Day.
Her foster son Umesh, who has been with her for some time is proud of her work and thanks the government for honouringand recognizing her, asks for further help to treat his ailing mother Thimmakka.
"My mother is happy to receive this award and we are happy that the government has been recognizing her work now. She has tended to trees for over 7 decades now and she is worthy of a Bharat Ratna and we are hopeful that the government will help her live her life with the honour she deserves,”he adds.
Thimmakka has also funded several organizations, She wants to build a hospital in her village for caring women during their pregnancy and childbirth.
National civilian award - 1995
Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Award - 1997
Veerachakra Award 1997
The Department of Women and Child Welfare, Government of Karnataka - Certificate of Accreditation.
Karnataka Kalavalli Award - 2000
Baba Saheb Ambedkar Award
Karnataka Environment Award
Nadossa Award -2010
Padma Shri Award -2019
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