The students of St Joseph College were eagerly waiting to interact with Saalumarada Thimmakka, the 106-year-old who had earned recognition for her untiring efforts in planting hundreds of banyan tree saplings during her felicitation programme here on Saturday.
Anthology of environment poems ‘Hasiru Torana’ brought out by students was released on the occasion and a painting of her portrait was also gifted. Speaking on the occasion, she advised teachers to encourage students to plant trees and nurture them.
Narrating her experience, she said “We did not have children and my husband Chikkaiah decided to plant trees along Magadi road. We nurtured plants like our children. Planting of saplings helps increase the green cover and benefit mankind in the long run,” she remarked. Thimmakka ended her 20-minute speech with a song ‘Hadeeli hogodu bekku, beedeeli hogodu bekku, mane mane thiruguvudu bekku.’
Shreesha Kumar of Vivekananda College, Puttur called upon students to emulate the life of Thimmakka. “We are engaged in the destruction of environment. Trees have been felled to construct huge buildings. Teachers should teach humanity to their students,” he added.
Saalumarada Thimmakka’s adopted son Umesh said “though the government had announced ‘Neralu bhagya’ scheme considering the contributions of Thimmakka, the government had not awarded her for her contributions so far.” Thimmakka is getting a pension of Rs 500 per month. She has not received any kind of help from the government, he rued.