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Padma Shri Thimmakka, A 105 y.o. Green Crusader, Saves 100s Of Trees From Being Axed

Posted: June 5, 2019

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Today is World Environment Day, and it is serendipity that just a couple of days ago, Padma Shri awardee, 105 year old Thimmakka, who has planted and nurtured 385 trees all her life, saved 100s of trees from being felled.

The government of Karnataka had plans to chop down hundreds of trees as part of the widening of the Begapalli-Halaguru road near Bengaluru. 385 banyan trees along the same stretch of road have been planted and nurtured by 105 year old Thimmakka, who began this endeavour along with her husband at the age of 40 years.

Thimmakka, who has been awarded the Padmashree this year, approached and requested the chief minister H. D. Kummaraswamy and the Deputy chief minister G. Parameshwaran to reconsider the project and took whatever it wanted to protect the trees. And at last the government started to look for alternative ways for their project.

This World Environmental Day if you think that you can/have do something to give back to this earth to reduce the carbon print, but don’t know how to do, here is an inspiring story of a woman who lives by example.

There will be a time in everybody’s life when you feel very low, questioning your very existence….This woman is no exception to this rule. She tried to end her life at the age of 40 and later realised that she is here for a purpose. This world environmental day if you think that you can/have do something to give back to this earth to reduce the carbon print, but don’t know how to do, here is an inspiring story of a woman who lives by example.

Thimmakka started her life as a woman with an ordinary dream. Being married to a daily labourer Chikkaiah in Hulikal Village and being a casual labourer herself with no formal education, all she wished for was to be a mother to a child. After knowing that it is not possible, a frustrated Thimmakka resolved to end her life when she was 40. But destiny had other plans for her. Realizing her husband’s love and support for her, she started planting trees.

Her project started like this: there were a lot of banyan trees in Thimmakka’s village and the couple used to graft from those trees to make saplings. Once the saplings are strong enough the couple would take them to the nearby village for planting. They planted the sapling around the monsoon season when there will be plenty of rain and with their meagre resources protected the plants with thorny shrubs. During the summer they would take pails of water from one village to the other to water the plants. Over the years, the account of her trees grew from being double digits to 4 digits. All of them were not just planted and left away. But was treated with care, love and affection like a mother.

Saalumarada Thimmakka or Aalada marada Thimmakka (age 105) as she is fondly called now has so far planted 385 banyan trees along a four kilometre stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudoor in the state of Karnataka. Not just that, she has also planted 8000 other varieties says Wikipedia.

Her achievement is acknowledged not only in India but around the world. In 2016, BBC announced Thimmakka as one of the most influential and inspirational woman of the world. She has many awards to her credit, some of which are, the National Citizen’s award-1995, Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Award 1997, and the prestigious Padma Shri Award-2019.

If living life meaningfully is our goal then nothing can stop us from achieving it, and here is a woman who has lived her life through example showing us all that age, money and literacy are all just an added advantage. The key to real living is just courage and determination.

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