What if I told you tycoon Anand Mahindra wants to invest in your business? Unbelievable, isn’t it? But this is exactly what happened with 80 year-old K Kamalathal of Vadivelampalayam near Perur in Tamil Nadu.
Her INR 1 Idli venture became viral when her story started streaming and caught the eye of Mahindra & Mahindra’s Anand Mahindra. He was quick to tweet and extended interest in investing in Kamathal’s business. So, who says, money calls money?
80-year-old K Kamalathal, fondly called Paatima, is up before the sun rises, takes a bath, performs her daily prayers and goes to the farm with her son to collect fresh vegetables. She brings out the aatukallu all by herself, puts in fresh coconut, salt and other ingredients to make chutney. She chops the vegetables required to make sambar, puts them in a pot and sets it on the firewood stove to cook. The previous night she had kept the idli batter ready. She invariably, uses only firewood for all that she cooks!
At 6 am every day, Paatima opens the doors of her house to customers. Her loyal patrons are mostly labourers, who consider her Idlis an affordable delight! and line up to savour the fluffy idlis with piping hot sambar and spicy chutney for just 1 rupee per idli. She has been running her shop from her house, since 30 years!
When Kamalathal’s story became viral, petroleum Minister Dharmender Pradhan. gifted her an LPG cylinder, stove and grinder, much to her excitement, Mr. Anand Mahindra even tweeting in gratitude! But…. she insists the cost of one idli wouldn’t waver beyond INR 1! Her business, she says isn’t to earn profits…. but to feed the poor and help them save some dough for their families!
The idli served here has a traditional touch. The batter is ground in a stone grinder and steamed on a mud stove. The love behind it…. priceless!
Sometimes, modesty calls success…. Kamalathal leads by example….