There is something to be said about Sallumarada Thimmakka. Firstly, Sallumarada is a honorary word in Kannada, meaning ‘one who planted rows of trees.’ She is no ordinary woman. She is101 years old but she hasn’t stopped living and giving back to the world. If you have traveled to Bangalore, you might have heard of Kudoor, a small town, 40 kms away and the 3 km stretch from Kudoor to Hulikal is a stretch of tall canopy trees, forming an arc and keeping the area cool and pleasant.
These 1000 odd trees planted neatly 50-70 years ago are all Banyan trees and planted by this same 101 year old environmentalist with her now late husband, when they could not have children. She also has a US-based environmental organization named after her, Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education which seeks to help environmental students in their research. This inspiring environmentalist also has a chapter dedicated to her in Karnataka’s resident to look after the planted trees and take her mission forward. Today, this 29 year old has been adopted by the environmentalist as her son.
She has several accolades and felicitations in her name, awards galore at her humble home in Kudoor but her motivation, she says is simple ‘leave a legacy behind and what better than trees that shelter humans, birds and animals.’ Ideas, anyone?