CHENNAI: Sultan Ahmed Ismail wears many hats — teacher, environmentalist, soil biologist, developer of the concept of ‘vermitech’. His 40 years of being a scientist and teacher has helped him win many hearts and minds along the way. “The earthworms have taught me a lot — about burrowing through difficulties, composting and waste management,” he says, speaking to teachers at a one-day workshop on environment at the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre at Kotturpuram.
Reinforcing the importance of chemical-free food, he urges people to not get carried away with brands and multinational food companies. “When you go to buy fruits or vegetables, pick those on which flies are sitting, the spinach with more holes. Those are the ones without pesticides,” he says.
Ismail has a blog called ‘Simple Tasks Great Concepts’, and travels to villages to propagate organic farming. “Scientific temper is not just about having more scientists. Getting a common people to understand science is more important, and Ismail did just that,” says T Ramkumar, a social activist from Exnora. A booklet and stamp felicitating Sultan Ismail was also released at the event, in which Unani expert Hakim Khaleefatullah was present.