Saviour of unique cattle breed to Kalaripayattu exponent among Padma Award winners from Kerala

Dr Sosamma Iype, KB Rabiya, P Narayana Kurup, and Unny Gurukkal.
Dr Sosamma Iype, KB Rabiya, P Narayana Kurup, and Unny Gurukkal.

The nation marks its 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday. The Government of India announced the Padma Awards on the Republic Day eve as per convention. In all four Padma Vibhushans, 17 Padma Bhushans and 107 Padma Shri awards are being conferred this year. The Keralites bestowed with the civilian awards are conservationist Dr Sosamma Iype, poet and literary critic P Narayana Kurup, Kalaripayattu exponent Unny Gurukkal and literacy campaigner KB Rabiya.

Dr Sosamma Iype - A life dedicated for Vechur cattle

Dr Sosamma Iype, 82, who is known as "Vechur's Amma", saved the rare breed of Vechur Cow from the brink of extinction and put up tremendous efforts to increase its population. A retired Veterinary Professor and researcher at the Mannuthy Veterinary College in Thrissur, she set up Vechur Conservation Trust to look after the unique cattle breed of Kerala. Now, there are 5,000 to 6,000 Vechur cattle in Kerala.

Sosamma, who took PhD from the National Dairy Research Institute, was the head of the Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding. Her story of how she overcame the opposition to the popularisation of breeding of Vechur cattle appeared in "Njayarazhcha" on its January 16th edition. Sosamma hails from Niranam in Kuttanad. She resides in Mannuthy. Late Abraham Varkey was her husband.

P Narayana Kurup - A writer, rooted in Indian ethos

P Narayana Kurup, 87, is a writer who has always penned poems that reflect Indian ethos and traditions. His poems based on "ragas" and classical musical "krithis" are unique. He bagged Kerala Sahitya Academy Award for both poetry and criticism.

His main collection of poems are Nishagandhi, Kadalasu Kappal, Nedumkavithakalum and Kurumkavithakalum, Hamsa Dhwani, Asthra Maliyam, Apoornathayude Saundaryam, Kimputer, Narayanathu Kavitha, and Bhoopalam. Kaviyum Kavithayum, Vritha Padanam, Kavya Bimbam, Thanathu Nadakam and Thanathu Kavitha are some of his books on literary criticism.

He was an offer at the Central Secretariat services. He also served as Editor in the Central Information Service and Guest Editor in the Encyclopedia Institute. He hails from Haripad. Now, he resides at Indira Nagar in Peroorkada near Thiruvananthapuram.

Unny Gurukkal - Took Kalari to global heights

C Sankara Narayana Menon, alias Unnny Gurukkal, 93, has popularised the martial art of Kalaripayattu among common people over the years. He also saved the Kalari medical treatment system (Kalari Chikitsa) from the brink of non-existence. Thousands of students from foreign countries visit Vallabhatta Kalari run by him at Chavakad in Thrissur.

He began his "kalari" practice at the age of six years at the Mudavangattu Tharavadu Kalari under the tutelage of his father Sankunni Panicker. He performed his "arangettam" at the age of 16 years. He gave Kalari training and conducted exhibitions in the US, France, Britain, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Germany, Russia, China, Singapore and the UAE.

KB Rabiya - In the forefront of literacy promotion

K B Rabiya was noted first by Malayalees when she became active in literacy mission activities despite her physical infirmities. She hails from Thirurangadi in Malappuram district. She is the daughter of the late Moosakutty Haji and Biyachutti Hajumma. Her legs became completely crippled due to polio attack when she was a 10th standard student.

Though her formal education ended with the studies up to pre-degree level, she gained vast knowledge through voracious reading. She started an institute "Chalanam" and began employment training courses for women and the disabled. In 1993, her diary notes "Akshara Hridayam" was published. Rabiya's life story "Rabiya Avalude Katha Parayunnu" was published by the State Literacy Mission in 1995. She also received "Vanitha Ratnam" Award instituted by the Social Welfare Department in 2013. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.