Kallen Pokkudan, environmental activist, died at 78

Kallen Pokkudan was also called Kandal Pokkudan, was born in 1937, in Ezhom Moola, Idukkil Thara, Kannur, India and died on September 27, 2015, Cherukunnu, Kannur, Kerala, India.

He was an Indian environmental activist and writer from Kerala.

Kallen was known for his efforts for the protection and proliferation of the mangrove forests in Kerala, since 1989.

Kallen had minimal education which extended only up to 2nd standard and he took to Communism at the age of 18.

Kallen Pokkudan was connected to the radical group in the Communist Party of India, was involved in many people’s movements and was arrested on many occasions.

Pokkudan was an accused in many cases related to farmers’ unrests including a murder case and was incarcerated several times.

When the party split in 1964, he took sides with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) but de-aligned from party ranks in the 1980s when he became disenchanted with them.

He was married to Meenakshi and the couple had three daughters, Pushpalatha, Pushpavalli and Rekha and three sons, Anandan, Raghunath and Sreejith.

His eldest was Sreejith Paithalen, a freelance journalist and has a ghost written two of his father’s books.

Pokkudan spent his time on environmental protection activities, after his split with the party, focusing on the protection of the mangrove forests of Kerala.

While he started on a mission to plant mangroves across the coastal waters of Kerala and was reported to have planted over one lakh mangrove plants in the state.

Pokkudan founded that the Mangrove School and conducted over 500 classes in various parts of the state in an attempt to educate the masses about the ecological importance of mangroves.

On his work titled ‘Mangrove Species’ was mainly focused various species of mangroves found in Kerala.

There was a short story made on the life of Pokkudan a 2012 film by Siva Prasad, has been.

Kallen was one of the protagonists of Papilio Buddha, a 2013 feature film by Jayan Cherian, which focuses on the environmental and spiritual aspects of life.

Kallen Pokkudan passed away at 78 yrs old due to age related illnesses, Kallen wife preceding him in death, and was cremated at his residence at Pazhayangadi.