From promising 15 acre land to Rs two crore fund, the governments have made tall claims in recognition of Thimmakka's contribution to enhance green cover in the region. But nothing has reached Thimmakka except for empty words.

 

‘Saalumarada’ means row of trees in Kannada and Thimmakka earned her prefix for her contribution to environment conservation. Thimmakka has had no formal education but knows more about environment conservation.

 

Condemning the government's delay, activists of Srigandha Rakshana Vedike are staging a protest at the Freedom Park. They want the government to provide her a place to live and look after her medical expenses.

 

But Thimmakka has never craved for any award or recognition, even when she took on a mission to plant saplings. It is said that Thimmakka and her husband Chikkaiah were childless, despite being married for many years. Unable to take the ridicule by her relatives and neighbours, the couple decided to plant saplings and nurture them like their children. The trees have been planted on a four-kilometre stretch between Hulikal and Kudur in Ramnagar, near Bengaluru.

 

After her husband’s demise, she has singlehandedly planted many saplings till at least she was 80 year-old. Except for a widow pension of Rs 500, Thimmakka has no other means of income.

 

'Saalumarada' Thimmakka has been conferred with many awards including Indira Priyadarshini Vriksamitra Award, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award and has been featured on BBC's 100 most influential women in 2016.

 

Yet, Thimmakka lives a modest life off-Bengaluru and continues to inspire many.