New Delhi: On Monday, President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Padma Awards to 119 eminent personalities at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan. The 2021 list of Padma Awards included a 72-year-old tribal woman from Karnataka, Tulsi Gowda. She was presented the award for her contribution to the protection of the environment. Barefoot and dressed in traditional attire, Tulsi Gowda received India’s fourth-highest civilian award from President Ram Nath Kovind during a ceremony in the national capital.
Tulsi Gowda’s Story
Tulsi Gowda belongs to the Halakki indigenous tribe in Karnataka, she grew up in a poor and disadvantaged family. Even though, Tulsi Gowda never received any formal education, yet, today she is known around the world as the ‘Encyclopedia of the Forest’ with ‘endless knowledge’ about plants and herbs.
Born to a poor family, Tulsi Gowda lost her father when she was two. At a very young age, she started working with her mother at a local nursery in Karnataka. Later, Tulsi Gowda joined the forest department as a temporary volunteer, after she worked for over 30 years, she was offered a permanent job in the department because of her dedication to nature preservation. She retired after 15 more years at the age of 70. Tulsi Gowda has worked for the cause of environment for over six decades and has planted more than 30,000 saplings.
View Post By President of India
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. pic.twitter.com/uWZWPld6MV
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 8, 2021
The veteran environmentalist received the award barefoot and won many hearts. On social media, a photo of Tulsi Gowda greeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top ministers and dignitaries at the function was widely shared. The PM also posted the image on Instagram.
See Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Post:
Many on social media captioned it the “Image of the Day”.
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar ???????? (@Rajeev_GoI) November 8, 2021
In the world of propagandists, be a real change agent.
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 9, 2021
#SilentHero Kudos to #TulsiGowda, a Septuagenarian environmentalist, silently carrying forward #environment protection & planted 30,000 trees in six decades. Known as Encyclopedia of Forest, her vast knowledge on diverse species of plants/herbs bewilders experts. #PadmaAwards2021 pic.twitter.com/rxOEm9jaxr
— Tribal Army (@TribalArmy) November 10, 2021
Tulsi Gowda, true pride of mother India ????
In the last 6 decades, she has planted more than 30,000 saplings and has been involved in environmental conservation.
Our Govt has recognized a true gem, congratulations #TulsiGowda, on your Padma Shri award! #PeoplesPadma @MahaEnvCC pic.twitter.com/jg62WfPSYk
— Mir Arshid (@MirArshidHussa5) November 9, 2021
About The Awards
This year, Padma Awards list comprises seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Awards, of which 29 awardees are women and one awardee is a transgender person. The Padma Awards have been presented in various fields, such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service and so on.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.