Gandhian V.P. Appukutta Poduval is among the four Keralites honoured with the Padma Shri award announced on the eve of Republic Day on Wednesday.
Kalaripayattu guru S.R.D. Prasad, historian C.I. Issac and traditional farmer Cheruvayal K. Raman are the other awardees from the State this year.
A native of Payyannur in Kannur, Mr. Poduval, 99, had participated in the Freedom Struggle. He was motivated to join the Independence movement after listening to Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Payyannur in 1934. In 1942, Mr. Poduval was arrested by the British during the Quit India Movement. He was also active in promoting khadi and the Sarvodaya Movement.
A tribal farmer from Wayanad, Mr. Raman has been involved in a mission to conserve indigenous paddy seeds as well as different species of trees, herbs, medicinal plants, and spices. He has also established a network of farmers through an informal seed distribution mechanism.
Hailing from Valappattanam in Kannur, kalarippayattu exponent Mr. Prasad is also an author on the subject and an orator devoted to preserving the martial art for posterity.
Former professor in History, Mr. Issac has been a member of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) and was associated with the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram. Last year, a three-member ICHR committee, including Mr. Issac, had recommended removing the names of 387 Moplah rebels, including Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji and Ali Musliyar, from the list of freedom fighters.