Kerala farmer honoured for greening initiatives


For over 25 years, C.C. Kannan, a farmer from Maradi near Muvattupuzha, has been planting and nurturing fruit trees. In his own small way, he has been carrying out greening initiatives – organising tree planting campaigns and creating awareness among the people in Maradi panchayat. 

In recognition of his efforts, this year’s P.V. Thampy Memorial Endowment Award for Environment Protection will be awarded to Mr. Kannan. “Though Mr. Kannan has been working for over two decades, he maintains a low profile. We hope that his story will inspire others,” says Ranjit Thampy, environmental activist and son of P.V. Thampy, in whose name the award has been instituted. 

Mr. Kannan, who runs a vegetable shop, under the Department of Agriculture’s Subhiksha scheme, has been instrumental in initiating a campaign called ‘My Life My Tree’ for National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) workers of Maradi to plant saplings in the panchayat. He had also initiated similar campaigns in anganwadis. 

The P.V. Thampy Memorial Award is in its 25th year. Thampy was founder-editor of Weekly Kerala (1957), the first English weekly from Kochi. He also founded the Environmental Monitoring Forum in 1991, through which he carried out his environmental activities. After his demise in 1997, Thampy’s close friend and senior consultant psychiatrist C.J. John suggested instituting a yearly award honouring ordinary people carrying out extraordinary work for the environment. “Since 1998, 25 deserving people from different parts of Kerala have been awarded, including activists such as Kallen Pokkudan [mangrove conservationist] and Cheruvayil Raman, who has preserved 33 varieties of rice grains that were on the brink of extinction,” says Mr. Ranjit.

The award, which consists of a cash prize of ₹50,000 and a memento, will be handed over to Mr. Kannan on November 16 at YMCA, Chittoor Road.


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