Nurturing the 10 grafted saplings on a bare stretch of land four kilometres from their village (between the villages of Hulikal and Kudoor, about 80 km away of Bangalore) they endured the hardships of tending to the plants despite their limited economic resources. The following years, they planted more saplings, in the hope that they would grow and beautify the land. Today, the fully grown banyan trees are at an economic value of Rs. 15 Lakh and are managed by the Government of Karnataka.
Despite being felicitated and awarded by several state and national organisations, Thimmakka still lives below the poverty line. Her home cannot accommodate the certificates and medals while her bills still remain unpaid. Her only means of income is a government pension of Rs. 500. She is still a staunch supporter of afforestation and does all she can to spread awareness. Her belief is that every person should leave behind an asset that benefits all humanity.
This story, with more photographs, can be found here.