BENGALURU: Noted environmentalist Saalumarada Thimmakka finally accepted `10 lakh as medical aid from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after having rejected it earlier. With the chief minister cajoling her to accept it and assuring her help in the coming days, the 105-year-old activist relented. Thimmakka had come down with respiratory problems. She was admitted to Apollo Specialty Hospitals in Jayanagar and was discharged on Friday night.
Earlier, Siddaramaiah had sent the medical compensation through Joint Secretary Gopal. However, the senior citizen had rejected it saying she was hurt by the false promises made by the state government.
However, Siddaramaiah on Saturday visited Thimmakka in person and invited the environmentalist to his home and convinced her to accept the cheque.
He said, “Do not be disheartened. Accept this for your medical needs. I was not aware of your problems but I will resolve all your issues now.” Thimmakka told Express, “In the last 8-10 years, due to recurring health problems, I had been admitted to hospital many times. I have run into a lot of debts and taken loans from many people. Now, whom should I pay first is the dilemma? The `10 lakh will have to be used for paying my debts and not for my medical needs alone.”
Still hurt and pained by the behaviour of a minister, Thimmakka added, “I never expected Umashree to behave like this. Being unaware of my problems, she should not have spoken like that in the Assembly. People in high places should respect others’ sentiments.”
Thimmakka’s adopted son Umesh questioned the attitude of the state government. “There are only a handful of environmentalists in the state who have contributed significantly and Thimmakka is one such towering figure. If they can allocate money for artists, dancers, singers and literary figures, why not for environmentalists? I would urge the CM to keep the promise he has made today and not neglect her in her last days,” he said.