Rarely do we leave the world richer while dealing with an emptiness within.
A childless couple, instead of brooding over what life has not given, leaves behind a living green heritage this world had never heard of.
82-year-old Salumarada Thimmakka is a native of Halikal village in Magadi taluk of Bangalore Rural district. Many decades ago, she trekked 3 kms carrying two pitchers of water to nurture the banyan saplings she planted along with her husband Chikkayya on the Bangalore-Nelamangala highway.
It was a calling she answered for 45 years even after Chikkayya passed away. Nearly four hundred banyan trees, massive carbon sinks and home to millions of birds, silently salute her undying spirit and selfless contribution.
Benefit to the environment? Priceless! Her life? An epic tale.
Thimmakka has received numerous awards and recognitions. A US environmental organisation—Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education— is named after her.
I talked to her on the phone recently to inform that she was conferred upon the IGBC Green Champion award. She expressed her inability to travel to Bangalore to receive the award, but asked if it would help her get her long-standing demand—a hospital for her village—materialised.
I had no answer.
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