Disappointed and pained by the ‘attitude’ of the state government, noted environmentalist Saalumarada Thimmakka has decided to return the `10 lakh compensation given by the state government for her medical expenses.
In a strongly worded letter dated December 29, 2017, she has urged the chief minister to identify real talent and not to be swayed by one’s caste.
In the letter, the 106-years-old grand old lady, known for nurturing 385 trees in a dry region of Tumakuru district, has further rejected the old age pension of `500 provided by the state government.
Thimmakka, in fact, wrote, “Just because I am a Dalit woman, I have been reduced to this condition. And I have realized that nobody should be recognized or rewarded on the basis of caste. As it is, my fans, well-wishers and my adopted son are looking after me and my needs. And I am still alive today only because of their affection and continuing concern.”
In the three-page letter, she describes her contributions, travails, her frequent hospital admissions last year, medical issues and payment of bills of `3 lakh by a Rajya Sabha MP. She further outlines the frequent government announcements to provide ‘money and land’ and other unfulfilled promises in the last two years. Thimmakka also requested Siddaramaiah for an appointment so that she can personally return the cheque to him.