Empty feet, wrapped in dhotin-like clothes… when the ‘Encyclopedia of the Forests’ arrived to receive the Padma Shri from the President


Tulsi Gowda, a 72-year-old tribal woman from Karnataka, was on Monday honored with the Padma Shri award for her contribution in protecting the environment. Barefoot and dressed in traditional dhoti-like clothes, he received India’s fourth highest civilian award from President Ram Nath Kovind during the ceremony in New Delhi.

Belonging to the Halakki indigenous tribe in Karnataka, Tulsi Gowda grew up in a poor and underprivileged family. He never received any formal education, and yet today he is known as the ‘Encyclopedia of the Forests’. He is called by this name because of his vast knowledge on various species of plants and herbs.

From the age of 12, he planted and nurtured thousands of trees. Tulsi Gowda also joined the Forest Department as a temporary volunteer, where she was recognized for her dedication to nature conservation. He was later offered a permanent job in the department.

Even today at the age of 72, Tulsi Gowda continues to promote the importance of environmental protection by nurturing plants and sharing her vast knowledge with the younger generation.

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Padma awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. The 2021 list of Padma awards includes seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri awards, of which 29 awardees are women and one awardee is a transgender person.




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