When hundreds of trees are cut in the name of development, 49 year old Chikapalli Anasuyamma’s lonely crusade for conservation and preservation of greenery is a different story. Credited of having planted more than 20 lakh saplings and being instrumental in converting waste lands into neighbourhood forests, Telangana native Anasuyamma was bestowed with this year’s UNESCO award.
A resident of Pastapur Village in Sangareddy District, she is a member of the Deccan Development Society (DDS), which has been in the forefront of conservation of nature. In the last 25 years, she had been working tirelessly for converting waste lands into forests.
On her love for trees, she was quoted as saying that everything began after her husband left her in her mid 20s. With not much education, it was hard to get good job and to look after her son. She struggled hard and did all menial works. It was during this time that she was introduced to DDS. After her work in the morning, she used to attend training session of DDS in the evening on planting trees. After a few months, she almost spent her time at DDS, which grew in her a love for trees.
She was quoted as saying that she faced a lot of issues. She had to even face the wrath of the villagers for cleaning the land and even planting trees, which was considered to be a male dominated work. But now, Sangareddy District is all praise for Anasuyamma, who wants to continue her efforts till her last breath.