From scientist to social worker: Four Keralites conferred Padma Shri

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A scientist, an exponent of a traditional martial art, a physically challenged social worker, and an acclaimed author were the four Keralites awarded the prestigious Padma awards for 2022.

Sosamma Iype (Animal Husbandry), Shankaranarayana Menon Chundayil (Sports (Kalari)), K.V. Rabiya (Social Work), and P. Narayana Kurup (Literature and Education) have been conferred the Padma Shri.

A former professor at the Kerala Agricultural University, with expertise in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Iype initiated the process of rehabilitation and conservation of the nearly extinct Vechur cow in 1988, along with other indigenous breeds of Kerala, such as Kasargod and Cheruvally cattle and Attappady goats.

Rabiya, 55, is a physically challenged social worker from Malappuram, who rose to prominence through her role in the Kerala State Literacy Campaign in Malappuram district in 1990.

Kurup, 87 is a poet besides a popular literary critic and has authored several significant works on satire, criticism and travel memoirs, among others.

Reacting to the Padma Shri award, he said even though it has come late he has no complaints at all.

Same was the reaction from 92 year old Chundayil, more popularly known as Unni Gurukal, known for his in-depth knowledge of Kalaripayitu – the traditional martial art practised and hugely popular in the yesteryears here.

“People say I should have got it long back, but nevertheless, it has finally come. I thank all and dedicate this to my profession. I am extremely happy,” said the renowned exponent of the martial arts and a master trainer over the years.

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