Offers of help have poured in for a woman in Coimbatore who cooks and sells idlis for just a rupee each. Kamalathal, an 80-year-old from Vadivelampalayam in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district, has been issued an LPG connection by the government after Anand Mahindra shared her video on Twitter.
"Salute the spirit and commitment of Kamalathal," tweeted Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan. "Glad to having helped her through local OMC officers in getting LPG connection."
Salute the spirit and commitment of Kamalathal. Glad to having helped her through local OMC officers in getting LPG connection.— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) September 11, 2019
Society must empower such hard working people who defy all odds. https://t.co/ZBCsnPqdpA
Kamalathal's story went viral after it emerged that she serves idlis for the nominal cost of 1 rupee per idli, waking up before dawn to cook them along with sambhar and chutney.
"Most of the people residing near Vadivelampalayam come from a lower-middle-class background or are economically backward. They are all daily wage workers. In such a case, it is hard for them to pay Rs 15 or Rs 20 for a plate of idli every day for breakfast," she told the New Indian Express.
"I focus only on satisfying their hunger. Hence, I priced my idlis at 1 rupee... I get profits, but the margin is less."
On Tuesday, business tycoon Anand Mahindra tweeted about Kamalathal and expressed an interest in 'investing' in her business by buying her an LPG stove to replace the wood-burning one she was using. His tweet went viral with over 10,000 'retweets'.
"One of those humbling stories that make you wonder if everything you do is even a fraction as impactful as the work of people like Kamalathal," he wrote, sharing a video in which she is seen cooking up hundreds of soft, fluffly idlis for her loyal patrons. "I notice she still uses a wood-burning stove. If anyone knows her I'd be happy to 'invest' in her business & buy her an LPG fueled stove."
One of those humbling stories that make you wonder if everything you do is even a fraction as impactful as the work of people like Kamalathal. I notice she still uses a wood-burning stove.If anyone knows her I'd be happy to ‘invest' in her business & buy her an LPG fueled stove. pic.twitter.com/Yve21nJg47— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) September 10, 2019
On Wednesday, Bharatgas Coimbatore replied to his tweet from their unverified Twitter account and wrote: "BPCL Coimbatore is pleased to inform that we have issued @Bharatgas LPG connection to Ms. Kamalam."
Their gesture was appreciated by thousands, including Anand Mahindra himself. Responding to their tweet, he thanked them for the "gift of health" and reiterated that he would be happy to support the cost of Kamalathal's LPG connection.
This is superb. Thank you Bharat Gas Coimbatore for giving this gift of health to Kamalathal.— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) September 11, 2019
As I have already stated, I am happy to support her continuing costs of using LPG...And thank you @dpradhanbjp for your concern and thoughtfulness https://t.co/tpHEDxA0R3
Hindustan Petroleum also responded to Anand Mahindra and wrote: "Kamalathal has been using #HPGas domestic connection. She was approached today & provided with a commercial installation with proper Burner & Piping suitable for bulk cooking, which will help her expand business."
Thankyou Sir, for highlighting the issue.— Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (@HPCL) September 11, 2019
Kamalathal has been using #HPGas domestic connection.
She was approached today & provided with a commercial installation with proper Burner & Piping suitable for bulk cooking, which will help her expand business.https://t.co/tN8FqWPIDi
On Twitter, many praised Kamalathal's selflessness (and her delicious idlis) while also thanking Anand Mahindra for telling her story to the world and offering to help her.
"Dear Anand sir, your support had made this possible. A tweet can change life of someone if it's a positive tweet," wrote one Twitter user. "She restores one's faith in humanity by her immense generosity," said another.
Just a few days ago, Anand Mahindra had shared a video of an American drummer playing on the streets of Pune.
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