Tulsi Gowda, hailing from the Honnali village in Karnataka, has worked for the environment for over six decades and has planted more than 30,000 saplings in the countryside.
Ms. Gowda was conferred with the Padma Shri award yesterday, which is the fourth-highest civilian award in the country. President Ram Nath Kovind presented the award to the tribal environmentalist, who was barefoot and dressed in traditional attire in the ceremony.
She takes care of the nurseries of the forest department in Karnataka and has been an active voice for environmental issues.
The 77-year-old belongs to the Halakki tribal people and is reputed to be a ‘veritable encyclopedia of forests’ with “endless knowledge” of plants and herbs.
“President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Smt Tulsi 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,” tweeted the President of India’s office.
Born in poverty, Tulsi Gowda lost her father when she was two.
As a very young child, she started working with her mother at a local nursery. She never went to school and was married at s very young age.
Ms. Gowda worked at state-run nursery for over 30 years and retired from a government job after 15 more years at the age of 70.
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