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Kerala’s pioneer environmentalist M.K. Prasad passes away

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M.K. Prasad, one of the leading figures of the Silent Valley Hydro-electric project that marked the beginning of the environmental movement in Kerala, passed away on Monday at Kochi.

He was 89 and is survived by his wife, daughter and son.

“MKP, as he was known to those close to him, leaves behind a very rich legacy of 45 years of environmental activism based on solid science and a deep connect with nature and the people. He has been a good example of a researcher-activist,” said K.J. Joy of Water Conflict Forum.

Prasad was associated with the Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India (Water Conflict Forum) as an Advisory Committee member and also participated in the activities of the Kerala Resource Centre of the Water Conflicts Forum.

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Prasad did his Masters in Botany. He had a 30-year-long career as a teacher and had served as the Principal of the Maharaja College of Ernakulam and as pro-Vice Chancellor of the Calicut University.

He was a member of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board of the United Nations for its entire five-year period. He had served as the President of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad and as the Director of Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Palakkad. He was a life member of WWF and an advisory member of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).

His possible last public engagement was that he was the first signatory to an open letter to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the proposed high-speed railway system, Silverline, considered by many as an environmentally and socio-economically destructive project, on January 15.

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