A humble centenarian who lives a very simple life yet has changed the lives of many unknowingly. Saalumarada Thimmakka is a woman with a mission, she wants to make this world a better place.
Her endless efforts to plant trees and care for them have made a positive impact on the environment. No one has seen mother nature in person, but she is doing the job of mother nature.
Having planted over 8000 trees in 80 years of her life Saalumarada has been given the name of Vriksha Mathe or Mother of Trees.
Saalumarada Thimmakka Personal life
Saalumarada Thimmakka was born in a low-income family in Gubbi Taluk in Karnataka. Due to no formal education, she worked as a laborer.
Her husband was Chikkaiah who was a native of the Hulikal Village. They tried for 25 years to conceive after marriage but did not succeed. At a point in life when she was around 40 years, she had even tried to commit suicide out of depression.
But with the support and love of her husband, they both started planting trees and took care of them as their own kids.
She devoted all her love to the trees. They would work all day and then take care of the trees like their young ones.
They had planted only 10 plants in the first year, but she soon found peace in return. She had now found a new purpose for her life.
Each year the number of new trees planted grew more and more. She did not just leave them, at times they both even carried water 4 km to water the plants to save them.
With time her attachment with the trees grew so much that she was named Vriksha Mathe. The centenarian lost her husband in the year 1991 but did not get deviated from her life goal.
She later has adopted a son, and still continues to live a very simple life and plant more and more trees.
Saalumarada Thimmakka also called Vriksha Mathe
Saalumadra Thimmakka has earned herself the nickname of Vriksha Mathe by actually acting as a mother to the 384 banyan trees included in the total of 8000 trees she has planted.
She does not just plant them and leave it to the monsoons to take care of them, but instead, she waters them and cares for them.
She has planted trees that are worth crores of rupees but has not got enough money to make her both ends meet.
She has made an impression on the human race by showing love for trees. She has inspired many to become environmentalists.
Using plastic has destroyed the world and made the air polluted. But her efforts are making the air clean.
She inspires everyone to plant at least 4-5 trees and take care of them. She has a very successful running Prithvi Bachao Movement.
Saalumarada Thimmakka – Awards and laurels
Saalumarada Thimmakka had a tough time in her personal life and has never had financial support from anyone.
Though she has won many awards and laurels at the local and national level. But there has never been any money offered to her cause.
She got the national citizens award in 1996.
This is the time the whole world came to know about her and her afforestation project being run at a personal level.
She has also been given the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2019.
Though her house is overwhelmed with certificates and awards there is a lack of financial support to take her cause ahead.
She is wholeheartedly dedicated to improving the world and making it a better place for the next generation.
This determination and attachment to nature have made her life, more than 100 years.
Saalumarada Thimmakka Inspiration for others
Saalumarada and her husband did not do all this planting to get fame. They did it for inner peace to be one with nature.
They both used to take care of the plants day and night and at times did not even go to work.
They would stand guard of the saplings to ward off the cattle and stray animals so that the plants could grow to become trees.
The area where they lived was a rather dry place for the trees to grow. So they had to carry water for the plants even from as far as 4 km.
It was only 5 years after the death of her husband that her work came to be known to people all around the world.
She has brought the state of Karnataka on the world map for being a positive state in the afforestation of trees.
Even coming from a weaker section of society it never hampered her dreams of growing more and more plants.
Vriksha Mathe likes to say that a single tree planted by each individual will make this whole world a better place to live.
Inspirations can come from any section of society. Belonging to the lower class of society financially Vriksha Mathe never had the resources to bring publicity to her afforestation work, neither did she aim for it.
She always wanted to be closer to mother nature and found peace in taking care of the plants just like a mother.
Her motherly love was spilled on the plants and they prospered and flourished in her care.
It is only that when her deeds had become so large that everyone passing by the highway near the City of Bangalore noticed the change that she got recognition.
She has always just wanted to improve the environment and has become a role model for many people.
Not only in India, but her work is also being praised and taken as an example worldwide.
She is called for planting trees all over the nation as a mark of respect. She further aims at making a hospital close to her village and serves the humans in a better way.
The health facilities are not very good near her village so she wishes to set up a hospital to make the lives of people better in her own village.
This centenarian has shown that age is just a number and it is only will that is needed to do good of others.
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