Udupi, Oct 20, 2015: A teary eyed centenarian who seemed overwhelmed with the affection showed by the people of Udupi said, she felt rather left out following the negligent attitude of governments. Thimmakka a native of Gubbi taluk in Tumakuru, reminiscing her journey, said she took up the work of planting the saplings to overcome the pain of childlessness.
A cheque of Rs 2, 11,150 raised by a group of local youth of Udupi, was handed over to the 105 - year- old Salumarada Thimakka, who is known for her love for trees on oct 19.
She had struggled to even water the saplings because of scarcity of water in the area and planted trees while working as a daily wage labourer. People glorified the work, that did not end her woes.
Her foster son Umesh said there is no actual count of trees Thimmakka has planted. The governments have neglected the work. Though they did not have high expectations, the government at least should respond positively to problems and provide life support to Thimmakka who has been the source of inspiration for many. Lip service and applauds will not fill the stomach.
Of the total amount received, Rs 33,000 was deposited directly to the account of Thimakka by the contributors. While the remaining amount of Rs 1,78,150 was collected by youth.
Avinash Kamath, one of the youth, said that they expect another Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 to be collected. Avinash Kamath meanwhile welcomed the decision of chief minister recommending Thimakka’s name to Padmabhushan award.
Thimmakka, who dedicated her life to plant trees is now being treated at a private hospital for age related problems and utter poverty and is made to survive with Rs 500 given as pension by the government. Her foster son Umesh who is the lone breadwinner, is unable to go to work as he needs to take care of Thimmakka. She has planted around 800 banyan trees in 4.5 kilometers of stretch in Kudur village in Hulligall in Ramnagar.