December 13, 2002 

Inspiration for the day

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Kuttimathan Kani, Chonam Para Settlement, Agasthya Mala, Thiruvananthapuram

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For his effort at projecting to the world the properties of the medicinal plant, ‘Arogya Pacha’, the Adivasi youth Kuttimathan Kani had been invited to attend the World Environmental Summit at Johannesburg recently.

In collaboration with the Kerala Kani Tribe Welfare Trust, the Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, Palode, Thiruvananthapuram had extracted the medicine, ‘Jeevani’ from Arogya Pacha and patented it.  As a recognition of this effort, the UN has awarded $30,000, which Kuttimathan received.

Perhaps the 1st Adivasi to cross the ocean and certainly the 1st of his ethnic group to address a world gathering in his mixed dialect of Malayalam and Tamil, Kuttimathan Kani is modest about his achievement.

It has been decided to utilize the amount of Rs.15 lakhs from the UN towards reseach, cultivation of medicinal plants including Arogya Pacha and welfare of the community etc.  The royalty from the sale of ‘Jeevani’ is already being utilized for the welfare of adivasis.

“Crossing the ocean itself was a big achievement for me.  And I could tell the world about Chathan Kizhangu (Arogya Pacha),” the neo-literate is unassuming about his personal achievement.  “The opportunity to take part in the summit and receive the commentation from UN is a honour for the Kani tribe and Kerala as a whole,” he says.



Courtesy: Kerala Kaumudi, September 19, 2002

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