Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22 to promote harmony among various beings living on our planet.
“He that plant trees, loves others besides himself.”
– Thomas Fuller, Writer
As children, you’re taught about the significance of preserving mother earth. Be it at school or home it’s ingrained into you how simple habits like closing the water tap after use, replacing plastic bags with paper bags and planting saplings around your house can help the environment. But how many of you take these practices seriously and do your bit for the environment?
On the occasion of the 49th International Mother Earth Day, Team Storyweavers, brings to you the life and work of environmentalist and Padma Shri award winner Saalumarada Thimmakka. She has single-handedly planted over 8000 trees and is an example for all of us to emulate.
Born in a poor family in Gubbi village of Tumakuru in Karnataka, Thimmakka did not have the privilege to go to school. She started working in a quarry at a young age and was soon married to Bikkala Chikkayya, a labourer from Hulikal village. Being childless worried the couple. That’s when Chikkayya came up with the brilliant idea to plant saplings and nurture them as their own children.
What started off as a solution to a personal crisis soon became their life’s mission. They, together, planted about 385 banyan trees along a four-km stretch from Hulikal to Kudoor. After Chikkayya’s death, Thimmakka continued the noble deed of planting trees. Her outstanding work earned her a name Saalumarada (meaning row of trees in Kannada).
Thimmakka’s contributions to the betterment of the environment don’t limit to planting trees alone. She has also been an active campaigner of rainwater harvesting and is working towards building a hospital in her village. She’s a recipient of various awards and has been listed in BBC’s most influential and inspiring 100 women.
Thimmakka, who recently turned 107, encourages everyone, especially children, to plant a sapling and nurture it into a tree. Her philosophy is – “If you want to fill the void of emptiness then plant a dream and nourish it like your own baby.”
We hope Thimmakka’s story inspires you to do your bit for mother earth. Do tell us what you would like to do for our planet earth.
Plant a sapling for a greener tomorrow!
Like this story? Read similar stories at The Learning Tree.
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