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Captain Planet: 104-year-old Thimmakka’s Quest from Karnataka to save Mother Earth

Thimmakka received National Citizens Award in 1996 and Godfrey Philips Award in 2006 and the US's Thimmakka's Resources for Environmental Education has been named after her

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Salamarada Thimmakka. Image source: www.mastersconnection.com
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  • Born in Hulikal village in Bangalore’s rural area, she was born to a family of labour workers and worked through her childhood instead of acquiring any education
  • And after failing to conceive for 25 years, the couple gave up the desire of a child and decided to raise trees instead
  • With total 384 trees sown as saplings in over 50 years, the sweet reaping is brought to the entire world as a contribution towards afforestation

Not all heroes wear capes, some just have a handful of hope with them and they start doing their bit to change the world. And Thimmakka was one such woman, who was illiterate yet self-taught; she sustained her living and made the state of Karnataka a greener and better place to live in. This story is of Thimmakka, who has grown 384 trees in Karnataka.

Thimmakka, who turned 104, this year in 2016, led a life of poverty. Born in Hulikal village in Bangalore’s rural area, she was born to a family of labour workers and worked through her childhood instead of acquiring any education. Soon she was married to a cattle rearer, Bekal Chikkayya. They earned a little living by cutting stones and by tilling land. And after failing to conceive for 25 years, the couple gave up the desire of a child and decided to raise trees instead, reported IndiaToday.

Thimmakka with the trees she has planted. Source: alchetron.com
Thimmakka with the trees she has planted.
Source: alchetron.com

Thimmakka, along with her husband began sowing Banyan seeds decades ago. Beginning with only ten saplings in the first year at a stretch of 4 kilometres, they increased the number of seedlings each year. The couple not only planted them but also took pains to watered them regularly and protected them from cattle graze.

Thimmakka with one of her recognitions. Source: Wikipedia
Thimmakka with one of her recognitions. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Thimmakka has been conferred with many awards for her environmentalist social work like the National Citizens Award in 1996 and Godfrey Philips Award in 2006. The United State’s Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education has been named after her. And a film has been made on her too. But it is bothering to know that despite all her effort and contribution, Thimmakka has only received awards and certificates over the years, but no money to enhance her work. She also dreams of establishing a hospital, but she lacks funds.

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After Chikkayya’s demise in 1991, the trees he planted continue to flourish even today. With total 384 trees sown as saplings in over 50 years, the sweet reaping is brought to the entire world as a contribution towards afforestation. These trees have been planted from Kudur to Hulikal. The locals of the village call her ‘Saalumurada’, which in Kannada means ‘row of trees.’

– prepared by Chetna Karnani at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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UN Urges Urgent Hearing To Curb Usage Of Plastics

United Nations named plastic one of the biggest environmental threats

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United Nations on Tuesday named plastic one of the biggest environmental threats
United Nations on Tuesday named plastic one of the biggest environmental threats, flickr

Marking World Environment Day, the United Nations on Tuesday named plastic one of the biggest environmental threats facing the world.

The report, Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability, said while government regulation on the use of plastic has made some impact on reducing waste, it is not enough, and more urgent action is needed.

“Our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech. “Microplastics in the seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy.”

“From remote islands to the Arctic, nowhere is untouched. If present trends continue, by 2050 our oceans will have more plastic than fish,” he said.

The report noted that by some estimates, as many as 5 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year.

While acknowledging that combating plastic waste is different for every country, the U.N. report suggested 10 universal steps that policymakers can follow, including use of more eco-friendly alternatives to plastics and the promotion of reusable products.

UN Secretary
UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ press conference with the national and international press to present the results of his visit to Mali and to answer the many questions of journalists.

According to the Ocean Conservancy, 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the Earth’s oceans every year, which adds to the estimated 150 million metric tons already in the marine environment.

A 2017 report by the Ocean Conservancy said China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are dumping more plastic than the rest of the world combined.

But the advocacy group warned that the problem is not Asia’s alone. It noted the United States tosses out more than 33 million tons of plastic, of which less than 10 percent is recycled.

For years, environmentalists have warned of the deadly effect plastic trash has on marine wildlife. This week, a pilot whale died in Thailand after struggling for five days to stay alive. Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources announced that the whale had 80 plastic bags lodged in its stomach.

Also read:  Plastic free Delhi promised EU India

A Thai marine official said the whale, which normally feeds on squid, probably mistook the floating debris for food. (VOA)