'Saalumarada' Thimmakka ill, in financial mess

'Saalumarada' Thimmakka ill, in financial mess

 ‘Saalumarada’ Thimmakka, who has been ill for quite some time, remains financially paralysed with a monthly pension of just Rs 400, her only source of income. 

The 102-year-old Thimmakka who has been featured in the State syllabus primary school textbooks and various other journals for her contribution to the environment by planting 284 banyan trees is now left with a hand full of money and no stable source of financial support to fall back upon. The centenarian who is a resident of Hulimavu in Magadi taluk of Ramanagara district claims that her contribution has gone unnoticed. With her only son as the family member attending to her at the hospital, there is none to earn bread for them.  

Speaking to Deccan Herald on Wednesday, Thimmakka alleged that the State has not extended financial support to her. “The fact that I am Saalumarada Thimmakka has made no difference as even I get peanuts as pension,” she said with grief. 

Thimmakka recalled that it was her inability to bear children that motivated her to plant trees and take care of them as her own children. “It was not just that me and my family was of the firm belief that planting trees would protect us in the future. But unfortunately we are left with nothing today,” she added. 

The environmentalist also said that her husband who died a couple of years ago was of the firm belief that it was a great deed to plant trees but had not much financial support.Criticising the attempts of various builders to cut down trees and not bother to re-plant the same, she said, “They have money and also a reach good enough to get permission. However, they do not realise that they will have to pay for it tomorrow.” She also said that the State has to take active measures to save trees. 

Thimmakka was admitted to Victoria Hospital after she suffered respiratory problems and hypertension is recovering. She was moved to the special ward on Wednesday morning as her condition improved and is likely to be discharged soon. “The centenarian is interacting and is cheerful,” her son Umesh added. 

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