November 5 marks the 125th birth anniversary of Edavalath Kakkat Janaki Ammal.

 

Who was she?

  • She was born in Thalassery in Kannur district of Kerala in 1897.
  • She was a pioneering botanist and the first Indian woman to be awarded a PhD in the botanical sciences.
  • Janaki Ammal is known widely for her contributions to science – in the field of genetics, cytology, evolution, and more.
  • She was invited by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to reorganise the Botanical Survey of India in 1951.
  • Her association with the Save the Silent Valley movement – a campaign to stop a hydroelectric project from flooding the Silent Valley forest in Palakkad district of Kerala – was well-known.