A mother is known to nurture, nurture life into something extraordinary. A thoughtful lesson now is a virtue for society in the future. Women are compassionate and foresighted to the needs of their surroundings which they have beautifully complimented with their professional goals. It is no wonder now; the heights women have reached to accomplish what they have aspired. Recognising them is necessary and productive for society.
Encyclopedia of the Forest
Last month, on the 26th of January the Government of India conferred notable people with Padma Shri, the fourth-highest award for their contribution to social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. One among them was Tulasi Gowda, an environmentalist also known as the “encyclopedia of the forest”. Tulasi Gowda is a tribal woman who has been actively involved in afforestation and conservation programs. She is 72 years old and belongs to Halakki tribe from the Honnali village in the Ankola districts of North Karnataka.
Association With Forest Department
Having no formal education and living most of her life in poverty, she joined the forest department as a temporary worker. Her dedication towards sowing seeds and planting more trees got her a permanent job at the department where she worked for 14 years before retirement. Post her retirement; her zeal did not die; she is still contributing towards conserving the ecosystem. Her knowledge of the diverse species of plants and herbs has garnered her huge appreciation which is why people from around the country have been flocking to visit and see her work. The thought of barren land has been so unpleasant to her that she has relentlessly worked towards treating it. There are estimates that over 60 years, she has planted around a lakh tree.
The Name Tulasi
Her name Tulasi Gowda named on a plant called Tulasi /Basil considered as a sacred plant in the Indian tradition indeed justifies her efforts which are sacred in today’s times to protect trees for our well being. Interestingly, a cute little elephant born at the Bannerghatta Biological Park on the 30th of January, 2020 is named after Tulasi Gowda. She has been a recipient of many awards, felicitated by various institutions, but that didn’t dwindle her grit to work harder. She is still a humble and nature-loving person.
Awards that she has won are:
· Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra Award
· Rajyotsav Award
· Kavita Memorial Award
· Indavalu H Honnayya Samaj Seva Award
Nature is our wealth, protecting and conserving it must be our primary duty. To the younger generations, Tulasi Gowda is the light they should seek. Despite circumstances, she recognised her calling, the love for plants and made efforts to take care of them. Indeed she did set an ambition for herself and has set an example of how one can achieve anything with their hard work and commitment. Do plant a tree today; it is our little contribution to nature.