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Padma Shri Awardee Tulsi Gowda, the barefoot environmentalist called ‘Encyclopedia of Forest’

Tulsi Gowda, a 72-year-old Karnataka environmentalist, received the Padma Shri award, the country’s fourth-highest civilian honour on November 8, for her efforts in environmental protection. Her ecological narrative has served as an inspiration to many others throughout the years. President Ram Nath Kovind presented the award to the tribal environmentalist, who was barefoot and clad in traditional clothing in the ceremony.

Tulsi Gowda comes from a poor and disadvantaged family and belongs to the Halakki indigenous tribe of Karnataka. Despite the fact that Gowda never had any official education during her early years, she continued to broaden her knowledge in the realm of plants and other wildlife.

She is now known as the ‘Encyclopedia of the Forest,’ as she is an expert on the herbs and plant species found all over the world. She has been actively contributing to environmental protection since she was a youngster, planting hundreds of trees. Tulsi Gowda joined the forest department as a temporary volunteer in order to contribute more to environmental protection and make a difference.

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Her efforts were later acknowledged, and she was awarded a permanent position with the Forest Service. Tulsi has spent her whole life dedicated to the preservation of nature, having planted over 30,000 trees and participating in different environmental conservation events from the age of ten.


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