Noted environmentalist Kallen Pokkudan, who passed away in Kannur on Sunday following a brief illness, was a person who devoted his entire life to cultivating and conserving mangroves across Kerala.
Pokkudan, a bachelor, breathed his last at a private hospital at Cherukunnu.
Popularly known as 'Kandal' (mangrove) Pokkudan for his dedication and passion to conserve the unique coastal ecosystem, he began his green mission during the 1980s.
Though he did not have any formal school education, he realised the important role played by mangroves in protecting the coastal environment and toiled hard for its conservation.
The mission of cultivating and conserving the mangroves, which he began in his native village in a humble manner, had been expanded to other parts of the state in the later years.
Pokkudan had planted over one lakh mangrove trees across the state with the support of government and other agencies.
The 'Mangrove Man' also conducted awareness classes in schools, colleges and other institutions on the significance of preserving mangroves and wetland biodiversity.
He also authored several books on conservation of mangroves and received several awards, including 'Vanamithra' and 'Haritha Vyakthi' by Kerala Government. He had also acted in a feature film, 'Papilio Buddha' directed by US-based Malayalee filmmaker Jaya Cherian.
He had also started 'mangrove school' to train the young generation about the importance of its conservation.