- Kamalathal says she gets happiness in serving food at such a price
- Kamalathal, an octogenarian, works from 5:30 am and continues till noon
- Through the day she sells about 400-500 idlis and earns Rs 200
The spirit of an over 80-year-old woman in Tamil Nadu who has been selling idlis for just Re 1 for more than two decades now has touched the hearts of many in the country ever since her story got viral on social media.
The octogenarian Kamalathal says she gets happiness in serving food at such price and it helps her earn just enough for a livelihood.
"I have been doing this for the past 20 years now and don't know how long this will continue. I don't have anybody in my family. I am alone. I earn Rs 200 daily. I don't aim to earn money out of selling idli at this price," says Kamalathal.
"If I had aimed to become a crorepati by doing this, I could have done that in these many years. But, I decided, no, I only earn my small livelihood," says the woman who is popularly known as the ''Re 1 idli granny''.
Kamalathal works from 5:30 am and continues till noon.
Through the day she sells about 400-500 idlis and earns Rs 200, which, she believes, is a modest amount for her to live on.
"I am happy when people come to me and I serve them piping hot idlis," says the 80-year-old.
"I serve them idli with chutney and sambhar which I prepare myself. If I had to go and earn my livelihood, I could go out and earn Rs 200 daily, but the same amount I earn by doing this. I sell 400 to 500 idlis daily and only earn the amount which I require," she said.
This inspirational story came to light when Anand Mahindra, the chairman of the Mahindra Group recently took to his Twitter account to share a video of her preparing idlis on a wood-burning stove and serving them to underprivileged people.
"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," the text accompanying the video read.
Kamalathal was flooded with offers of help from across the country after the video was viral, including from Anand Mahindra, who said that he was willing to "invest in her business and buy her an LPG." The gas connection was soon issued to her by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.
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
Kamalathal says that she finds the true reward of her selfless hard work when people appreciate her food.
"I came to this place hearing so much about these tasty idlis," said one of the customers.
"I did not believe the idly was served at Re 1 until I came here. I do not know how this woman is selling them at such price, and that too such tasty idlis," another customer added.