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January 12, 2004 

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  CHATHUKKUTTY: MAINTAINING A FARM OF MEDICINAL PLANTS
Chathukkutty, Arikkulam-Mavattu near Koyilandy, Kozhikode

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Chathukkuttys modest 52-cents land at Arikkulam-Mavattu near Koyilandy, Kozhikode is a veritable treasure of medicinal plants handed over to him by his father.  And the 58-year-old has been maintaining this 400-species trove with a passion that defies financial logic.

He provides whatever he possesses to those who come to the farm, seeking cure for several diseases and happily accepts whatever they give in return.  He was not worried over the future of his family or his rare collection of plants until he got injured in an accident in September in which one of his legs got fractured.

Now I can sense death and I have to find out some way to maintain the tradition passed over to me by my father Chakkotty, he says.

The accident has brought forebodings of death and Chathukkutty analyses that none of his family has survived beyond the age of 63.  He wants to hand over the treasure to someone who can distinguish these plants and is committed to protect these rare species.

His wife Leela and 3 children understand his passion but without the support or recognition of Government how could they survive, he feels.

His farm has Kudajadri and Karingali, Venga and Pookkaitha, Nagagandhi and Koovalam, Kumizhu and Pathiri, Karinkurinji and Neela Ummam and a host of other rarities.

I always say to my family not to expect anything from this.  This farm is for our nation, Chathukkutty beams.

 

 

 

Courtesy: Salim Joseph, The New Indian Express, December 11, 2003

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