Friday, November 02, 2007

She loves to mother saplings

She loves to mother saplings
But Her Request To Govt For Financial Support Has Fallen On Deaf Ears

Bangalore: An illiterate woman along with her late husband, Chikkaiah, would walk around for several kilometres every day for decades just to water the saplings she had earlier planted.
Salumarada Thimmakka from Kulur had longed to be a mother, but since she couldn’t, she and her husband decided to parent the saplings they would plant.
However, with agriculture as their only source of livelihood, there wasn’t much money they could spare for planting trees.
Thimmakka then started off by cutting branches of banyan trees and planting them around their hut. Gradually, the number grew to 10 and later scores were planted along the Bangalore-Nelamangala highway.
Never realising their unique contribution towards society, the couple sought no publicity. Yet they got felicitated on innumerable occasions. But the pressing need for financial support from the government for their initiative remained — which is yet to come.
Her letters and repeated reminders to the government to provide her with free bus pass has fallen on deaf ears, yet she isn’t complaining.
All she has to sustain on is her husband’s pension which is a meagre amount to sustain a living, leave apart her passion to plant and nurse the saplings.
“I can’t force the government to take action,’’ said Thimmakka. She was in Bangalore on Thursday to plant 500 saplings on Old Madras Road.
She was felicitated by an organisation, “Trees for Free’’, for planting trees along a 4-km stretch.


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