KOCHI: Becoming one with nature and striving to protect it from the excesses of mankind is what this 70-year-old man from Kuttikadavu, a village in Mavoor Panchayat in Kozhikode, has been doing for the past 21 years. Palakkal Khader was on Friday awarded the 21st P V Thampy memorial endowment award for his endeavour to free Cherupuzha from the invasion of plastic waste. The award is given to lesser-known environmental crusaders and has been constituted in the memory of journalist and environmentalist P V Thampy.
According to Dayal, an environmentalist and founder of Vembanad Nature Club at Muhamma in Alappuzha, Kerala is in need of many more Khaders. “It is high time people realised the importance of living in harmony with nature. The recent flood that laid to waste huge swaths of land in the state points towards some disturbing facts. Due to his rampant abuse of nature, man is today facing a lot of problems,” he said.
“One among the many problems is the poor quality of air. The oxygen level in Kochi city has gone down from 80 per cent to 17 per cent. If it goes below 17, then Kochi will suffocate. Not only the present generation but also the children who are yet to be born will be battling with lung diseases,” he said. Desertification is also a looming threat, he added.
According to V D Satheesan MLA, it is sad to see even now nobody, neither the government nor the authorities concerned, is taking any steps to sit together and discuss what really went wrong and how to mitigate the problems caused by the floods.
“Instead of focussing on the problems posed by the Rs 40,000 crore destruction caused by the floods, everybody is hankering after unnecessary things,” he said. “Our state needs people like Khader who project innocence in all aspects,” he added.