Throughout his career as the principal of Sacred Heart College, in Kochi’s Thevara suburb, since 2010, he was known to use a bicycle to travel short distances, trying to inculcate a sense of ecological responsibility among his students and the general public. In fact, he has been known among people in Thevara as the “padiri” who rides his bicycle.
He has also been part of green activities in the southern Indian city of Kochi, promoting organic agriculture, garden-ing and creating concern for nature in young generation.
The 56-year-old member of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate retired from his academic career earlier this year. He will now undertake a tour of India on his favorite motorbike. He said he was not using a car since it consumed too much fuel. “Using a motorbike is better, because it was lighter on the environment,” he said as he prepared to set out on the Trust-Green-Peace journey from August 10.
Father Palakkappilly was instrumental in acquiring about four acres of paddy fields in Arayankavu, near Kochi, under the aegis of the Sacred Heart College, as a center for biodiversity where students could be introduced to the basics of nature.
He said he was a “sanyasi” who would be available for any duty to be performed on the orders of his superiors.
The solo bike ride will be flagged off from Thevara and will reach Kottayam on the same day. He will cover Kashmir and Kolkata, Kutch and Konkan as the journey progresses over a period of two months.