Aranmula recounts poet Sugathakumari’s environmental campaigns
The villagers of Aranmula celebrated the 80th birthday of Malayalam poet and socio-environmental activist Sugathakumari at her ancestral home of Vazhuvelil Tharavadu at Aranmula on Wednesday.
The celebration was held in front of the sacred grove (kaavu) in the courtyard of her ancestral house in the morning. Swami Golokananda, president of the Sri Ramakrishna Ashram in Thiruvalla, inaugurated the meeting to felicitate Ms Sugathakumari in the forenoon.
Jose Parakkadavil, former Principal of St. Thomas College at Thuruthicaud near Mallappally, made a presentation on Ms. Sugathakumari’s contributions to Malayalam literature. Addressing the function, Peelipose Thomas, former State Planning Board member and All-India Congress Committee member, and K.K. Royson, former district panchayat president, lauded her relentless campaign for the conservation of paddy lands, wetlands, sacred groves, and forests.
Thomas P. Thomas, environmentalist and Botany professor at Kozhencherry St. Thomas College, said Ms. Sugathakumari’s fight for environment protection, included the campaign for Silent Valley, had now reached her home village of Aranmula.
Dr. Thomas said people of Aranmula were proud of the octogenarian poet who has taken a lead role in the ongoing struggle to protect the wetland and paddy land in her home village. Mr. Royson said the people of Aranmula and Kerala had come out in support of her campaign to stop the land mafia from destroying the heritage village of Aranmula.
Children from schools and colleges recited the poems of Sugathakumari. Various socio-cultural, religious and political leaders, and environmentalists recalled the contributions of the poet to the Malayalam literature and to society.
Jyotish Babu, award-winning school teacher of SVGV Higher Secondary School at Kidangannur, was felicitated on the occasion. K. Ananthagopan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary; R. Ajayakumar, district panchayat member; A. Padmakumar, former MLA; V.N. Gopinatha Pillai, environmental activist; P. Induchoodan, Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council president; T. Reghunath, NSS Karayogam president; and Mathew Thomas, CPI district council member, spoke.