Kozhikode: India's oldest Kalaraipayattu woman master, Meenakshi gurukkal, is happy after being chosen for the Padma Shri award this year under the category 'unsung heroes'. Meenakshi gurukkal, 74, said she had never expected such an honor. "My family and students are happy to hear this news. They have already began the celebrations."
"Yes, they (government officials) called me and informed me about the award," she added.
Meenakshi gurukkal, who started practicing the ancient martial arts at the age of 7, have been training students for the past 57 years. Last year, a video of her performing at a temple in Vatakara had gone viral in social media.
Meenakshi gurukkal become an inspiration for millions around the world as many international and national media, including Onmanorama, featured her life story. Read it here: Meet Kerala's 'Iron Lady': Meenakshiamma, the 73-year-old Kalaripayattu maestro | Video
Every year, some 150-160 students learn the martial arts in her school Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam in Vatakara, where she herself mastered Kalari.