Following in the footsteps of Salumarada Thimmakka

Following in the footsteps of Salumarada Thimmakka

It is reminiscent of Salumarada Thimmakka of Magadi, who along with her late husband planted hundreds of trees in their village.

Lining the road: Banyan trees grown along the Chintamani Road in Pathapalli village of Srinivaspur taluk. DH Photo

Similarly in Srinivaspur taluk from Pathapalli village to Singanahalli Gate along Chintamani road hundreds of banyan trees have been planted. This is the effort of the taluk unit of social forestry department.

A decade later

The saplings which were planted on both sides of the road a decade ago are now standing tall as trees and adds a charm and a green cover to this stretch of the road. One cannot see so many banyan trees at a stretch anywhere in the district.

This was possible only because of the social welfare department which not only planted the saplings, but also nurtured them by watering regularly using tankers and fencing them in order to prevent them from being eaten away by goats and cattle.

Every year the social forestry department plants different varieties of sapling along the roads, but they do not survive. If they survive, they do not grow to be trees. If at all they grow as trees they people chop them down.

Thus, vanamohotsava programmes rarely become successful. The lack of rain in Bayaluseema region is largely due to decline in green cover.

Fear of farmers

On some roads, where the farmers have their fields on the sides, they fear that the roots of the trees will absorbs the fertility of their soil. So it is not unusual for them to uproot the saplings. Trees are also cut for use as firewood.

But the trees grown along Chintamani Road in Pathapalli have not become victims of vandalism as there are forests on both sides. The leaves of banyan trees are used as fodder for cattle.

Guarding closely

However, due to constant vigilance of the forest department, not a leaf of the trees have been harmed. The fruits of the trees have been a feast for monkeys, squirrels and bats and a shelter for birds.

Salumarada Thimmaka’s achievement is that of an individual, but the achievement here is that of a government department.

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