Genome saviour Padma Shri Cheruvayal Raman to receive new house from Kerala govt

Raman conserves and promotes nearly 60 varieties of indigenous rice seeds. File Photo: Manorama Online.

Wayanad: Cheruvayal Raman, a Padma Shri awardee and noted genome saviour from Wayanad, is set to be provided a new home by the state government. Raman, who has gained acclaim for his valuable contributions to rice seed conservation, currently lives with his extended family in a dilapidated 100-year-old thatched house.

The Kerala cabinet recently approved the proposal from the district administration, allowing Raman to have a new house built in traditional ethnic architecture. Despite his global recognition and the numerous awards he has received, Raman has faced difficulties securing a home due to legal disputes over the ownership of land and his exclusion from government housing projects like 'Life' due to his extended family living situation.

Raman conserves and promotes nearly 60 varieties of indigenous rice seeds. He hopes that the new house will safeguard his numerous accolades and provide a space to continue his conservation work. The government plans to fund the purchase of land and construction of the house under the Comprehensive Tribal Settlement Development Scheme, with a budget of Rs 20 lakh earmarked for the purpose.

Instructions have been issued to the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) to expedite the application process through the Edavaka panchayat, with the Department of Scheduled Tribes Development overseeing the initiative.

Raman belongs to the Kurichia tribal community. "I am not that wealthy enough to buy a piece of land to build a home. I have many books, awards, and mementoes which also should be kept safely", he said to Onmanorama. He also expressed the wish to construct a museum and meeting place for genome conservationists.

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