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MKP made environment a matter of public concern | Kochi News

MKP made environment a matter of public concern | Kochi News

I received a call from Prof M K Prasad in 1994. He was agitated, which is a rare condition for him. Near his Panampilly Nagar junction, Ernakulam, a large rain-tree, which provided shade for many years, was being threatened by developers. But, there was local resistance. MKP noticed that the tree had been secretly felled over the night during his morning walk. I plan to place a wreath upon the stump. He said that while no one is concerned, I have to do it.
I was reading a column in an English newspaper at that time and asked MKP to hold off until I got there with my camera. He placed a wreath with a card that read in Malayalam Vriksha Swehi. I received my photograph, which I used for next weeks column. MKPs actions were widely appreciated.
The shop owner refused to give MKP money when he went to the florist to order the wreath. Once again, he had made defeat in environmental matters a sort of victory and moved people through his actions.
Prasad spent 70 of his 89-year-old years making the environment meaningful for generations of Keralan citizens. MKP, who was the leader of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad’s environment brigade, was undoubtedly the public face for the popular movement that saved Silent Valley from being inundated by a hydel plant in the 1960s and 70s. His contacts and efforts helped internationalize this issue and brought pressure on government.
To understand why Silent Valley is so important, you must trek across it, he said to me during an interview.
MKP attended a seminar in Silent Valley in 1995 to mark the first ten years of the National Park. He was joined by many of the Valley’s stalwarts, such as V S Vijayan (Snake Man Romulus Whitaker), V S Vijayan (Snake Man Romulus) Whittaker, Mrinalini Sarabhai and Dr U K Gopalan (marine biologist), and M A Parthasarathy (WWF-India). Prasad was the one that motivated many of them.
MKP was then representing India in various global bodies such as IUCN, WWF and Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He truly represented India’s people with his passionate and blunt message, which was not the case for sarkari delegate.
As the Information Kerala Mission (IKM) executive director. He brought humanity and a common touch to many of Kerala’s citizen services.
(The writer was part many of the key eco-projects spearheaded by Prasad. As a journalist, he covered his work for over four decades.
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