“Encyclopedia of Forest’: Tulasi Gowda, the barefoot Indian environmentalist received the Padma Shri award from President

Sometimes taking even a small effort to bring changes in a particular area might make it happen, but what if the entire life is devoted to it. The result being generated will be vast. A tribal and Indian environmentalist, Tulasi Gowda from Honnali village in Karnataka summarizes the quote like no one else. 

Known as “Encyclopedia of Forest”. Tulasi Gowda 72-year-old environmentalist received the fourth highest civilian award of India, Padma Shri for planting 30,000 saplings and taking care of the nurseries of the forest department. The phrase “Encyclopedia of Forest” was given to her vast knowledge about various trees and plants where she has singlehandedly planted one lakh trees in Karnataka.

Preserving the forest is her prime duty and she does it with her heart and the process to look after her forest is not regarded as a job for her but as a passion for nature. Tulasi Gowda was born in a poor tribal family and lost her father when she was only two. She was married at a very early age but she lost her husband at their early stages of married life. 

Life has been pretty hard on her although that has never stopped her from contributing to the larger cause. Despite having no formal education, she has made immense contributions towards preserving the environment. To make this world a better place to live, Tulasi has planted one sapling after another at a very early age but till now she hasn’t got any recognition by any across the country. However, the point has now changed by receiving a Padma Shri award for the kind lady.

On November 8, President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the Padma Shri award for Tulasi. she went to take her award, barefoot, and won several hearts and not just the award. Gowda is one of the 119 Padma awardees for the year 2020. 

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Congratulating Tulasi, Ram Nath Kovind’s Twitter noted, “President Kovind presents Padma Shri o Smt Tulasi Gowda for social work. She is an environmentalist from Karnataka who has planted more than 30,000 saplings and has been involved in environmental conservation activities for the past six decades.”

Having great knowledge about forests, trees, herbs, and the environment, contributed to bringing her in front of the large canvas-India.  Right from the picking right weather to quality of seeds, and to taking care of saplings till they blossom into trees, she is an all-knower of all things green. The trees that were planted by her while working in the department in Ankola, Yellapur, and Sirsi taluks have become huge trees now. After serving the forest department for almost 14 years, she retired from service. She is now granted a government-approved pension, which is her only source of livelihood.