Thimmakka a household name
Thimmakka a household name and one of the well known personalities of Karnataka.she is one of the great exponent of environment.she is popularly known as “Saalumarada Thimmakka”, she was given the name to honor her dedication towards planting the saplings and preserving the environment. Thimmakka is has nearly plant nearly 300 banyan trees and 8000 other trees and her work has been honored with many national and international works.She also has a U.S. environmental organization called Thimmakka’s resources for environmental education named after Thimmakka’s age is nearly 108 years but her love and passion towards nature is just amazing.
EARLY LIFE :
Hundred years ago in a village near tumakuru district , gubbi taluk near Karnataka in India, a girl child was born to “Chikka Rangayya” and “Vijayamma”. Chikka Rangayya and Vijayamma were a laborer couple.They named the girl child as “Thimmakka”. They lived in cringing poverty and had no means to give “Thimmakka” a formal education.”Thimmakka” with no other ways started helping her parents as a labourer and in household works from a very young age.she took up grazing sheep and cattle and also worked as quarry labourer.
LIFE WITHOUT CHILDREN:
A few years later she was married to “Bikkala Chikkayya” who was a labourer.They led a peaceful life.They were a happy couple, with hardworking and comfortable life, But the couple didn’t have children even after 25 years this made them sad.she faced a lot of torment from her in laws for this, she was looked down upon by society as a barren so she even contemplated suicide, Chikkayya stood by her in her bad times.some of them suggested the couple to undergo rituals, prayers for having children, but nothing succeeded. After few years they came to know that they would never have children.In this hard time the couple stood up for each other.The couple choose to do different by planting trees.The Chikkayya and Thimmakka then decided to plant “Banyan trees” so that they came come over there pain that they could never have children and to treat those trees as their children, and take care of them as their children.The reason to plant “Banyan tree” was, A Banyan tree is a special tree that has roots upwards and branches downwards, and it gives a grate shade and shelter to travelers. The seeds that the tree produce are eaten by many birds and mammals and the tree also has great medicinal values and it also protects environment from harmful gases.
Thimmakka and Chikkayya decided to plant trees along the road side and they selected the road to the next village.This particular road that not even a single tree and caused immense suffering to the travelers in the dry hot days.Thus, as there hard day’s work as laborers with the remaining time, they started planting saplings in a row for several kilometers. Every day they manually carried water for a long distance to nurture all the samplings.It is not difficult to plant a tree,
But have to make sure they survive, have to water them and also watch that cattle and other animals do not eat them away or the people do not damage them so the couple protected the saplings from cattle and other animals from grazing by fencing them with tawny shrubs.From there started the selfless effort of an ordinary couple towards an extraordinary mission, A mission to raise as many trees as possible with love and care and take care of them as their children.The couples collected the banyan tree saplings as there were plenty in there village, and grafted 10 saplings and planted at a stretch of 4 kilometres.
They increased number to 15 the next year. They continued with their efforts and increased the number of saplings with each passing year. Thimmakka and Chikkayya planted saplings, and also took a very good care of the saplings.Each morning they started from there home with pots to water the saplings and continued till they cover the whole stretch while in between if the pots emptied out they used to refill the pots from nearby ponds and wells and continued watering the saplings.
Thimmakka and Chikkayya, the couple treated the plants as there own children and each day they followed the same routine and with there efforts the saplings grew into large and strong trees bearing fruits.The couple planted the saplings in monsoon season so that plants would get rainwater for their growth.Systematically over a period of time they planted over 384 banyan trees that stand tall and provide shelter and homes for several birds, animals and humans.Though the couple had no children but the couple found their love for trees and immersed themselves in it.
DETERMINATION TOWARDS PLANTING SUCCESS:
A few years later Chikkayya died leaving Thimmakka with a grown up green children, since she was a widow, she had to live away from the rest of the society.Her relatives tried to snatch her small piece of land, which they finally bought from her for a very small sum, But this didn’t discourage her in anyway, she continued her work with same determination and courage.she continued her mission alone and undaunted.
Despite the hardships that she had faced along the way, she also got involved in various social activities like construction of a tank to store rainwater for the animal fair of her village.She has plans for building a hospital in her village and has setup a trust for her purpose.She is an active fighter for spreading the message of afforestation.
Thimmakka still lives in a economic crisis and just manages to some how make a living from her monthly pension.But this has never managed to kill her passion for doing good work for humankind.The Government of Karnataka has taken over the management of trees know. Thimmakka says that her house is filled with lots of awards, rewards, medals, prices, certificates but no one offers her money.Being an ordinary women she is an example for many and she has inspired many people with her determination.
Thimmakka is honoured with the National Citizens Award in 1996.
she was also honoured with many prestigious awards like
Karnataka kalpavalli Award, Nadoja Award, Godfrey Philip Award, and many more.
Around 16years ago, Thimmakka met a similar greenary longing placing her in heart like ekalavya, A boy who started planting trees in school environment, “Vanasiri Umesh” from “Balluru” was met.He was considered as her own son and was blessed,
Now Thimmakka is living her life with her adopted son Umesh.Umesh has not only planted 1000’s of trees in society and also “Prithvi Bachao” movement was effectively handeled.According to the botany report, one tree is nearly worth rupees 1.75 crores. one cannot fathom the value of thousands of trees she planted.without expecting rewards all this wealth is dedicated to the society.
Thimmakka has recieved 100’s of awards and 1000’s of honour but her innocence does not know the value of awards.
Thimmakka states that ” It will grow as life and turn to green tree advise this to your kids and if you listen to our advise trees will be developed,It will be life and life will be trees as we planted trees will grow big, teachers and parents when they teach children to grown tress even they will be blessed, have this goodness.let god bless you with happiness and wealth
Her works inspired to youths environment conservation development was indefinitely handled. Let us wish future generation with happy and satisfied life pure surrounding.