EK Janaki Ammal: Kerala’s Forgotten Universal Woman: A girl wrote about Hortus Malabaricus, the proud book of all Malayalis.

I am a house
If placed
Hortus for that
will be named”.

That girl is India’s first botanist. This Malayalee’s place and seat are at the forefront of world botanists. This Malayali is the mother of modern botany in India. Name: EK Janaki Ammal. This is a name that all Malayalis should inscribe in their knowledge cells. We owe the sweetness of the tea we drink to this scientist. Many medicinal plants have been introduced to us from the rainforests of Kerala. November 4 is the 125th birth anniversary of this universal woman.

He was born on November 4, 1897, in a house called ‘Edathilm’ on the seashore in Thalassery. Father Diwan Bahadur E.K. Krishnan was a sub-judge in Madras. He was very interested in natural science. Adjacent to the house was a lush garden. While developing the garden, he kept copious notes and maintained active correspondence with other scholars of the time. There was also a rich collection of books inside the house.

The family members have imparted the latest knowledge from scientific and literary magazines. EK is the author of two books on the birds of the North Malabar region. Krishna. He was born into an Uracheri family famous for medicine and Sanskrit. Amma Devi Kuruan. His maternal grandfather was John Child Hannington, an Irishman who was a resident of Travancore.

Janaki Ammal was unique. At a time when ‘crossing the seven seas’ was forbidden even for men, and even primary education was foreign to girls.
Years before India’s independence, in 1921, he did post-graduation with a scholarship from the University of Michigan in the United States. Graduated. She then worked as a teacher at Women’s Christian College in Madras for two years. after that
from the University of Michigan in 1931 with a scholarship equivalent to a Ph.D. in sociology. Also got DSSC. She became the first woman in India to receive a doctorate in science.

Maharaja’s College, Thiruvananthapuram after returning from America
Taught. After that, he served in the Sugar Cane Breeding Institute of India, Coimbatore. At that time India imported sugar despite having many indigenous cane varieties. Because most aren’t sweet enough. Janaki Ammal Muntenia developed sweet hybrids of sugarcane.

Got an opportunity to work in the Indian Academy of Science founded by the world-famous CV Raman. But when caste and gender discrimination became severe there, he left that job and joined the John Ince Horticultural Institute in London and Vis. He also worked as a cytologist at the Royal Horticultural Society, Lee. Structure and division
Learned during this time. Renowned botanist C.D. ‘The Chromosome Atlas’ by Janaki Ammal in collaboration with Darlington The book ‘Cultivated Plants’ is the botany student’s bible. 1940 EK Janaki Ammal was quietly engaged in research work in England between 1945 and 1945 when German planes were bombing London.

Had a good understanding of ecology and biodiversity. She was an ardent environmentalist. She played a leading role in the protests against the construction of a hydroelectric dam across the Kuntipuzha River in Kerala’s Silent Valley.
On Environmental History organized by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in 1955 at Princeton”Man’s role in changing the face of the earth” She was the only woman invited to the important international symposium
Janaki Ammal.

In 1951, Prime Minister Nehru invited Ammal to India. The mission was to reorganize the Botanical Survey of India. Worked as a special officer till 1954. Five years later Allahabad Central Botanical Laboratory Deira Ctr. Retired in 1970. India was honored with the Padma Shri. Janaki Ammal, who lived like a Buddhist nun in appearance and a perfect Gandhian in appearance, is a wonder and an invaluable asset to the world of science. On February 7, 1984, this scientific wonder became an evergreen memory. The obituary of this brave woman reads:

“The sun welcomes your eyes and the wind welcomes your soul. Go to earth or heaven according to your merit. If you are lucky, go to the water and build your house in the plants with all your members”.


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