Meet Tulsi Gowda “Encyclopedia of Forest”
The Padma Shri awardee Tulsi Gowda is known as the ‘Encyclopedia of Forest’ in India. She hails from a poor and disadvantaged family. Throughout her formative years, Gowda never had access to any formal education, but despite all odds, she began expanding her knowledge in the field of plants and other fauna.
She possesses a wide knowledge of herbs and plant species from across the world. Ever since she was a teen, she has been involved in environmental projects.
Tulsi Gowda joined the Karnataka Forest Department as a temporary volunteer. Noticing her dedication and commitment to protecting the environment, the government offered her a permanent job as a member.
Tulsi was awarded Padma Shri, the highest civilian award of India for her dedication to nature and the environment. She has planted more than 30,000 saplings in her lifetime and has taken an active role in multiple environmental conservation activities.
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She began working towards improving the forests of India at the age of 12 when she was working alongside her mother at a nursery. Even at the age of 72, she is dedicated to nurturing the environment and fighting for afforestation in the country.
In the videos and pictures which surfaced online, Gowda can be seen walking barefoot in the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to receive the award from President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Padma awards are given in three categories — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. It is announced annually on the eve of Republic Day. The Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of a high order. Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.