Padma Shri 2020: Tulasi planted seeds of conservation

Padma Shri 2020: Tulasi Gowda planted seeds of conservation & the fruits are there for all to see

Tulasi Gowda

Possessing endless knowledge of plants and herbs, Tulasi Gowda is hailed as an encyclopedia of the forest. She hails from Honnalli village in Ankola taluk of Uttara Kannada district.

She has nurtured more than 40,000 trees so far. Even at the age of 72 years, she is determined to plant saplings and nurture them like her children, till they grow into trees.

Tulasi has been doing this for the past six decades without any expectations. According to local residents, she was actively involved in the afforestation programme conducted by the forest department. Recognising her service, the department regularised her service. After serving for 14 years, she retired from service. The pension is her only source of livelihood. 

She has knowledge of the species of each sapling she has planted, the benefits of each plant and the quantum of water required to grow them. Her knowledge of plants is no less than any botanist. She is leaving no stone unturned to create awareness among people about the conservation of forests. The saplings she had planted while working in the department in Ankola, Yellapur and Sirsi taluks have become huge trees now.

Tulasi was born in a poverty-stricken Halakki tribal family. Her father’s death when she was just two years old had upset her deeply. She could not get any formal education. Poverty had prompted her to work with her mother, a daily wage worker, since her childhood. She married Govinde Gowda at an young age. But he died in a few years. Braving all odds in life, she led a life that turned out to be a model to the entire nation.