About Saalumarada Thimmakka

The invaluable service done by Saalumarada Thimmakka to our environment has got worldwide recognition. She is indeed a daughter whose name the country takes with immense pride.

Saalumarada Thimmakka was born in a place called Gubbi in Tumkur district. Her parents were Smt. Vijayamma and Sri Chikkarangayya. Having been born in poor family, Saalumarada Thimmakka could never go to school because of utter poverty and lack of facilities. At an age when a child should be going to school and exploring the fun and joy of learning, Saalumarada Thimmakka had to take upon her tiny shoulders household responsibilities, she had to take up grazing of cattle and sheep. When she was 10, she even began to work as a coolie. As she grew up, she was married to Sri Bikkala Chikkayya of Hulikal Village of Kudoor taluk of Ramanagar district. Her husband’s family was not well provided for either. She had no respite from poverty and a series of difficult situations followed her in that phase of her life too. Unfortunately, the couple remained childless even after many years of their marriage. Disappointed and pained because of this childless life, both of them started to treat trees as their own children. Later, with her husband’s encouragement Thimmakka set on a mission to plant as many trees as possible. She planted trees along 4 KMs stretch from her village Hulikal to Kudoor. She not only planted those trees but also tended them until they grew into sturdier.
The couple who have believed firmly in planting trees as a great service to the environment, country and humanity, neither grieve nor glorify their poverty. After their regular work till the noon, the couple took to tending the trees by watering, fencing and guarding them. This became her daily routine for many years. Though this passion of serving the environment did not improve her financial conditions, she has been recognized massively by the people of the world as a great environmentalist. Today, Saalumarada Thimmakka stands as an unique individual who has brought recognition to our state, Karnataka worldwide by her incredible and massive environmental service.

She had to toil hard for a fistful of food and poverty became an inseparable of part of her life. The society looked down upon her as a barren woman with all its harshness and cruelty which had left her broken and shattered. However with all these, she has made it her life mission to plant trees with an everlasting concern for the environment for the past 75 years. She is now 105 years old. She has become a role model to the entire world today.

Thimmakka Foundation

According to one of the botanical reports done by a survey, the value of a tree which Thimmakka has planted is nothing less than Rs. 1,75,00,000. One can only imagine the value of all those trees that are planted by her and grown into huge trees now. They are worth several crores of rupees today. Yet, by dedicating all of them in service of the state and the environment and not expecting any reward in return, she has taken a life of a pure, selfless service. But, what is unfortunate is that, she is dependent on a pension of Rs. 500/- given by the government as a sole source of her income even today. Hence even today her life knows no respite from poverty.
Having lead an active life as a passionate environmentalist and an eternal lover of nature, Saalumarada Thimmakka still cherishes the dream of planting more trees in future. The enormity of her zeal and confidence must be acknowledged and respected. At this old age of 105 years, Thimmakka is living under the care of Sri Umesh B. N, her foster son. Umesh has also involved himself in the mission of preserving the environment and has been planting and tending trees along the roads, in the public places, in the surroundings of schools and on mountain and hill tops.
He is also successfully running the “PRITHVI BACHAO” (Save Earth) movement. Also, he runs his own nursery and distributes plants to those farmers who are interested in growing trees. He has distributed more than 5 lakh saplings until now. He has inspired more than 5 lakh students and public to take an oath to preserve environment. He has given more than 500 lectures of about awareness of environment preservation. By making preservation of our environment and social service as the sole mission of his life, Umesh has proved himself to be a worthy son of Thimmakka. Recognizing his contributions to the preservation of the environment, he has been bestowed upon the RASHTRIYA YUVA SADHAKA PURASKAR (by the government of India) and KARNATAKA STATE ENVIRONMENT AWARD (by Karnataka State Government).

Hundreds of awards have been bestowed Saalumarada Thimmakka until now. But, with all these she remains a person of innocence and humility from her. Her name and fame in the world has not affected her humble nature. She has become a legend of her own order and leads a humble and simple life even today. In felicitation of Saalumarada Thimmakka, honourable chief minister of Karnataka, Sri Siddharamaiah has reserved a substantial amount of money as a fund for “Saalumarada Thimmakka Shade Plan” by giving momentum to the mission of planting trees along 3000 Kms stretch and tending it for five years. This was declared in the year 2014-15. The same plan was reiterated again in 2015-16 & 2016-17, and the necessary arrangements were made for its execution.

The invaluable service done by Saalumarada Thimmakka to our environment has got worldwide recognition. She is indeed a daughter whose name the country takes with immense pride.

Thimmakka Foundation

Saalumarada Thimmakka started by planting trees on either sides of a 4 Km road woman and dedicated it to the nation. Later she carried her mission further by involving herself completely in the environmental protection campaigns through the state and nation. Today, she stands as a beacon and a role model to thousands of people by planting lakhs of trees.
The government of India has taken the initiative of including a poem written on Saalumarada Thimmakka in the CBSE text books, there by recognized her invaluable service done to the society and environment. Government of Karnataka has taken steps to include a chapter in the list of lessons prescribed its literacy programme. Also, the students from 1st standard till 10th are introduced to Saalumarada Thimmakka’s achievements in their Hindi Textbooks. A lesson about her has been included in the political science text book prescribed for the class 12th students.


1. National Citizen Award- Government of India -1965
2. National Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Award-Government of India -1997
3. Gait Free Brabiency National award -2006
4. The NADOJA award, Hampi University -2010
5. Karnataka Rajyothsava Award
6. Karnataka Rajya Parisara Award
9. Women Empowerment Award
10. Mother of Tree Award
12. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar State Award
13. Sahara India Puraskar
14. Jagajyothi Basavanna Puraskar
15. Green India Puraskar
16. Dr. Shivarama Karantha Puraskar
18. Green Champion-2012
19. Udaya Film Award (Green Award) -2013
20. Pampavathi Parisara Award
22. PARISARA RATNA Award-2013
23. Sanjeevani Award
24. Suvarna Shri Award
25. Kaveri Award
26. Vijaya Vithhala Award
27. Vachanashri Award
29. Svananda Kala Award
30. Shreematha Award
31. An award in the All India Jain Women’s Conference for her total achievement.
32. Sagar Award
33. Samaj Seva Rathna Award
34. Vanasiri Rathna Award
35. Vanarani Award
36. Mother of trees Award
37. Vrikshamathe Award
38. Vishwachethana Award
40. Vishalakshi Award
43. Kusumashiri Award
44. Garuda Award
45. Vishwathma Award
46. Kalyana Siri Award - 2016
47. Sri Krishna Anugraha Award – 2016
48. Bheem Rathna Award – 2016
49. Basava Siri Award – 2016
50. Naada Chethana Award

Thus, after having received hundreds of awards for her incredible service, Saalumarada Thimmakka lives a fulfilled life. A humble natured simple woman, Saalumarada Thimmakka is living with her foster son Umesh now. She is 105 years old.
Her selfless and magnificent service in preserving and protecting the environment is a role model to all of us.

Saalumarada Thimmakka International Foundation
16, 1 st cross, Soap facory layout,
Near Vinayaka emple, Manjunata Nagar,
Bagalgunte village, Tumakur road,Bangalore 560 073. INDIA

+91 9845847962