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The Tree Whisperer

The Inspiring Journey of Saalumarada Thimmakka

The Padma Shree Awardee, Saalumarada Thimmakka, embodies the true spirit of environmental activism. Born in 1914 in Karnataka, she faced hardships as an agricultural laborer but found solace and purpose in planting trees. With her husband, she transformed a barren land for a stretch of 45 kms into a green corridor by planting and nurturing around 8000 banyan trees.


Thimmakka's deep-rooted connection with nature guided her actions. She collected rainwater to nourish the saplings, protected them from harsh weather, and ensured their growth with unwavering dedication. Her selfless devotion earned her the title "Saalumarada" meaning "row of trees" in Kannada. 


Thimmakka's story gained national and international recognition, inspiring people worldwide. Her green legacy demonstrates the power of one person's determination to make a difference. Beyond the physical transformation, she empowered rural communities, especially women, to embrace sustainable practices and protect their environment.


Saalumarada Thimmakka’s contributions as an environment advocate were first recognised in 1995 where she was awarded the National Citizen’s Award of India. On her 111th birthday, she was honoured with a cabinet rank by the Government of Karnataka and was also made an environment ambassador. 


She is an inspiring example of how one individual's determination and love fonature can create a legacy - inspiring generations to care for the planet we call home.

Key Insights

Padma Shree Awardee for environmental activism

45 km

Barren land transformed into a green corridor

Honored with cabinet rank by Karnataka Government on 111th birthday

National Citizen's Award of India in 1995.


Banyan trees planted in the green corridor

Empowered rural communities, especially women, with sustainable practices

Saalumarada Thimmakka's Video

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