Saalumarada Thimmakka and the magic green sword to heal mother earth

exter Energy
3 min readAug 24, 2023

Planting trees may seem trivial to many, but this was not the case for Thimmakka, who discovered a new purpose in life through these plants. She was frequently plagued by doubts and depression as a result of her inability to conceive. Her self-esteem was crushed to a point where she even considered suicide as a result of her in-laws’ never-ending critiques and pitying eyes from her villagers, and her godly actions to heal earth one sapling at a time

She is Saalumarada Thimmakka

Hailed as the ‘mother of trees’ one and only Aalada Marada Thimmakka gave birth to not 1 or 2 but 8,000 trees. She started planting trees along with her husband. They took care of these trees just like anyone would look after their children.

When Mother of Trees touched forehead of President Ram Nath Kovind to bless him

Thimmakka was born in a farming family of Tumkur district, Karnataka. Owing to poverty and lack of facilities, she could not go to school or receive a formal education. As she grew up, she was married to Bikkala Chikkayya of Hulikal village with whom she started her tryst with nature.

“Green is my sword, make it yours.”

– Thimmakka

Mother of trees from https://exter.in/

Began as a ritualistic practice to conceive a child, which she couldn’t, Thimmakka planted more than 8000 plants in her village. She not only planted those trees but also fenced, watered and tended to them in every which way possible. Though the trees grown by her are worth several crores of rupees today, her life did not find any respite from poverty. She is still dependent on a government pension of Rs. 500/- as her sole source of income.

Recognition began to come Thimmakka’s way

  1. Honoured with the National Citizen’s Award of India in the year 1995.
  2. Padma Shri award in 2019, which is the highest civilian recognition in the country.
  3. There is also an environmental organization named after her in the United States called Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education. International recognition for her noble work did not stop there, as she was also listed by British Broadcasting Corporation as one of the most influential and inspirational women of the world in 2016.
Saalumarada Thimmakka has brought worldwide recognition to the state of Karnataka through her incredible and massive environmental services. Thimmakka has also been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Central University of Karnataka in the year 2020.

Thimmakka’s grove

Banyan trees were aplenty in Thimmakka’s village. Thimakka and her husband started procuring saplings from these trees. Ten saplings were planted in the first year, along a distance of 5 km near the neighbouring village of Kudur. 15 saplings were planted in the second year and 20 in the third year. She expended all her meagre resources for planting and nurturing these trees.

In total, 384 banyan trees were planted by Thimmakka, and their asset value has been assessed at around 1.5 million rupees. The management of these trees has now been taken over by the Government of Karnataka.

You can learn from Thimmakka on how to save and heal earth

She tells you that it's not hard to save the earth, age and resources cannot be a hurdle to those who actually want to invest in a better future for mother Earth.

Thimmakka’s journey invites you all to embark on a similar adventure to plant trees and save the planet.

*This blog was written at exter.in/blog page. Content has been moved here to medium story.

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