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107-Year-Old Activist Convinces Karnataka CM to Not Cut Hundreds of Trees She Planted Decades Ago

Thimakka had shot to fame for planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometre highway stretch between Kudur and Hudikal in Ramanagara district on the same road in the 1960s.

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Updated:June 4, 2019, 3:45 PM IST
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107-Year-Old Activist Convinces Karnataka CM to Not Cut Hundreds of Trees She Planted Decades Ago
Padma Shri awardee Saalumarada Thimakka met Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Monday | Image credit: Twitter/@balajidtweets
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A 107-year old woman might have succeeded in saving hundreds of trees she planted decades ago from getting axed.

Padma Shri awardee Saalumarada Thimakka met Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Monday to press them for calling off the Bagepalli-Halaguru road widening project, The News Minute reported.

Thimakka had shot to fame for planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometre highway stretch between Kudur and Hudikal in Ramanagara district on the same road in the 1960s.

“I will not allow the trees I have planted to be chopped. I will not allow the government to carry out this project,” the environmentalist was quoted as saying.

Following the meeting, the chief minister’s office said he had asked concerned officials to come up with an alternative alignment to minimise tree felling.

In a statement, the Deputy CM said, “It is true that she has protected these trees as her own children. It is our responsibility to protect these trees. We will try and come up with an alternate alignment for road expansion so that the trees which she planted are not harmed.”

Thimakka has also won the Karnataka Rajyotsava award, the Nadoja award by Hampi University, and the National Citizen award by the Government of India, among other national and international accolades. She was also part of the 100 influential and inspirational women list compiled by BBC in 2016.

"Saalumarada" means rows of trees in Kannada. She had taken to planting trees after she and her husband failed to conceive after years of marriage. In an interview to Al Jazeera, she said, "One day we thought why not plant trees and tend to them like we would our children.”

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