Saalumarada Thimmakka is an environmentalist from the state of Karnataka, She was born in Hulikal village in the Magadi taluk of Ramanagar district in Karnataka, She did not get any formal education and used to work as a quarry labourer. Her husband was a cattle herder and the couple had no children. She became famous by planting and tending to 284 banyan trees along a four-kilometre stretch of highway. She has been honoured with the National Citizen’s Award of India. It is said that Thimmakka started to plant banyan trees in lieu of children. She used to refer her work as Saalumarada, meaning ‘Row of trees’ in kannada. A U.S. environmental organisation based in Los Angeles and Oakland, California called Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education is named after her.
Thimakka and her husband started grafting saplings from banyan trees. In the first year they planted 10 trees along a distance of 4 kilometres. They planted 15 in the second and 20 in the third year, in all they planted 284 banyan trees. To water the saplings, they used to carry four pails of water for a distance of about four kilometres .The asset value of trees has been estimated at around 1.5 million rupees. The saplings were planted mostly during monsoon season so that sufficient rain water would be available for them to grow. By the onset of the next monsoons, the saplings had invariably taken root. In total,284 trees were planted, and the management of these trees have now been taken over by the Government of Karnataka.
- Nadoja Award (HampiUniversity): 2010
- National Citizen’s award : 1995
- Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards : 1997
- Veerachakra Prashasthi Award – 1997
- Honour Certificate from the Women and Child Welfare Department (GOK)
- Certificate of Appreciation from the Indian Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bangalore.
- Karnataka Kalpavalli Award – 2000
- Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award – 2006.
- Vishalakshi Award (Art of Living Organisation)