March 10, 2003  

Inspiration for the day

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Dr.P.Chandrasekharan, Palakkad 

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Perhaps in his entire career as an agricultural scientist he wouldn’t have felt the satisfaction he got 18 years after retirement.  Dr.P.Chandrasekharan, who retired as Dean of Agriculture University, Tamil Nadu and settled down in his native land of Palakkad was successful in bringing from the slumber of disuse, 2 native varieties of paddy and making them high yielding ones.

Thavalakkannan and Chenkazhama were native varieties, which Dr.Chandrasekhar used to taste even as a boy.  Though they were replaced as favourites for cultivation by high yielding varieties, their taste lingered in his memory.

It was with this background that he went after polishing the breed into a modern one.  The confidence of 2 farmers, K.C.Rajakrishnan and K.Venugopal, who gave him their farm and all cooperation, and his own research experience, resulted in 2 breeds that retain the taste and the distinctive deep violet colour on the husk.

For Dr. Chandrasekharan it was a sort of paying the debt to his mentor.  He had gone to England for doctoral work at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station. His guide at the Station was the renowned agriculture scientist Prof. P.T.Thomas, whom the British had honoured with the title ‘Commander of British Empire’.  On completion of the work, Prof.Thomas advised him: the duty of an agricultural scientist is not academic.  It is to do something to benefit the farmers.

He has the satisfaction of carrying out the advise of his guru.  Perhaps that is why Dr.Chandrasekhar is indifferent to the commercial possibilities of his 4 years of labour.



Courtesy: Karshakasree, February 2003

Contributed by: Administrator


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