‘Magic in Her Hands.’ The Woman Bringing India’s Forests Back to Life

By Sameer Yasir
New York Times
September 2, 2022

Tulsi Gowind Gowda has spent most of her more than 80 years planting and nurturing trees in southern India. “I like them more than anything else in my life,” she said.

HONNALI, India — She has walked for miles, deep into tropical rainforests, carefully cutting healthy branches from hundreds of trees and replanting and grafting them. Her eyes light up when she talks about rare seeds or a sapling. And when she dies, she would like to be reborn, she says, as a big tree.

Tulsi Gowind Gowda — who doesn’t know the year of her birth but believes she is more than 80 — has devoted her life to transforming vast swaths of barren land in her native state of Karnataka, in southern India, into dense forests.

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