A father figure of forest’s flora and fauna
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A father figure of forest’s flora and fauna

December 22, 2019
  • Title :  An Autobiography of a Kodava Forester
  • Author :  Dr. Kodira Achappa Kushalapa, IFS (Retd.)
  • Pages :  228
  • Price :  Rs. 200
  • Year :  2019
  • Publisher : Dr. K.A. Kushalapa, Mysuru.

In the film of 90 minutes duration, titled “Beautiful people: Some call them animals,” a comic allegory produced in 1974, focussing on various animals that live in arid desert environment of Africa by Jamie Uys, humorously draws parallels between animal and human behaviour. Dr. K.A. Kushalapa can vouch for the message in the film that the denizens of the forest are indeed beautiful people in a wide sense of the term, having shouldered the arduous duties of conserving India’s forests, steadily shrinking as a percentage of the total geographical area of the country. His empathy for the denizens and concern for enduring the flora have not witnessed even an iota of diminishing to this day despite retiring from an illustrious service for long years as a professional forester. Circle for Mysuru’s intelligentsia and senior citizens who have known him can testify to the vast knowledge of the author about A to Z of forest and its importance of vital role in sustaining the balance between human beings and other species on earth.

The narrative divided into 16 chapters, each with a caption indicative of specific aspects of the author’s early life and landmark events relating to his professional career culminating in his elevation to the highest post in the Department of Forest in the State Government.

Writing about Dr. Kushalapa, in his foreword, Man-depanda K. Appayya, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of Karnataka, has expressed his admiration of the author’s noble qualities of head and heart, that earned him respect, recognition and rewards by his achievements both academic and professional.

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The events of the author’s childhood and in later stages presented in all humility and graphic details trigger in the minds of readers what a person can achieve by being stoic and steadfast along with the support of family members, as revealed by the author himself in his preface. The trials and tribulations that he has encountered at different periods of life but overcome with courage and hope sound poignant. His life’s saga belies the myth of Kodavas as a community of only planters and warriors, by emerging as a star among them in the world of academics also. The 128 published papers listed in the book’s Chapter 14, 10 abstracts of technical papers and 10 titles of social articles listed in Chapter 15 give the readers an insight into Dr. Kushalapa’s deep interest in enlightening the lay people dispelling their utter lack of knowledge about forests.

Dr. Kushalapa has thought-fully included 69 photographs, many in colour, with images of his family members as well as people who were his colleagues, showing him as an impeccable handsome person. If his dream of generating in Kodava youth the desire to spread out into various areas of challenge by pursuing professions outside the ambit of restricted areas for which Kodavas are known, is fulfilled, the author’s autobiography gets full worth of the work of writing and publishing. The proceeds of the sale of the publication is meant to be utilised for philanthropic cause. —BRS


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