Saalumarada thimmakka - An environmentalist from Karnataka


We all would have heard about women who has achieved something in one or the other field. Women like Kalpana Chawla, Neerja Bhanot etc are all famous for what they have done. Likewise, Saalumarada Thimmakka is one woman not everyone are aware of. This is the article to create awareness about Saalumarada Thimmakka.

There are many social workers who are famous for their social work. There are many sports person who are famous for their achievements in the field of sports. There are many women who have achieved something or the other in their own way but have got no much recognition

In this article, I will let you know about an environmentalist from Karnataka and what has she achieved.

Who is Saalumarada Thimmakka

She is an Environmentalist who is 105 years old known for planting several Banyan trees in Karnataka. She was born to Chikkarangaya and Vijayamma in a village called Gubbi which is in Tumkur district of Karnataka. She could not attend school because she belonged to a poor family and started working as a labourer at the age of 10.

As Thimmakka grew up, she was married off to a man called Chikkaya who came from a village called Hullikal, Kadoor Taluk in Ramnagar district of Karnataka. Chikkaya was also working as a labourer and had to face poverty. Unfortunately, Thimmakka and Chikkaya were not blessed to have any children.


Achievements of Saalumarada Thimmakka

Disheartened for not having any children, Saalumarada Thimmakka and her husband Chikkaya started treating trees as their own children. To overcome the grief of not having any kids, Saalumarada Thimmakka took a mission of planting as many trees as she can for which her husband Chikkaya supported her completely. She started planting Banyan trees from her village Hullikal to Kadoor. The trees were planted in a line at a 4kms stretch hence the name Saalumarada Thimmakka is given to her were the term "Saalu" means line and "Mara" means tree in Kannada. She has planted around 380 trees in total.

Saalumarada Thimmakka followed a daily routine of planting trees and nurturing them despite of their poverty and with no help from anyone. Everyday after their regular labour work, both husband and wife would water the plants, fence them and guard them. She lost her husband Chikkaya in the year 1991. She treats the trees as her own children and she encourages people and kids to plant trees

According to a survey done, the value of each tree planted by Thimmakka is approximately 1,75,00,000 and yet she is not expecting a single Penny from government. She is just receiving a pension of rs 500 from government and she is leading her life with that pension received.

Saalumarada Thimmakka took care of Umesh as a child and today she is taken care by him. Umesh, following Saalumarada Thimmakka started planting trees along roads, near schools parks etc. He is educating students to plant trees and encouraging them. He is running a NGO "Pritvi Bachao" and also he is donating Banyan tree saplings to farmers and other people.

Awards received by Thimmakka

Thimmakka has received several awards and recognition few of which are mentioned below

  1. National Citizen Award
  2. Nadoja award rewarded by Hampi University
  3. Karnataka Rajyothsava Award
  4. Dr. B.R Ambedkar State award
  5. Indira Ratna award
  6. and many more.

Conclusion: Though Saalumarada Thimmakka has received several awards, she remains down to earth without expecting any help from government or the society. She is interested in planting more trees. Also her dream is to construct a hospital in her village in the memory of her husband. Today Saalumarada Thimmakka is a role model for many people and she is invited in many programs as a guest and to let people know about her work.


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