R Rangama (also known as Pappammal) of Thekkampatti, Tamil Nadu, is an “Organic Farming Pioneer”. She was honoured Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, on the occasion of the 72nd Republic Day.
R Rangama was born in the year 1914 in Devalapuram village, Tamil Nadu. After the demise of her parents, she and her two sisters were brought up by her paternal grandmother who used to stay in Thekkampatti. During her childhood days, there were no formal schools. Whatever knowledge she acquired was based on the games she used to play such as pallanguzhi. She bought land of nearly 10 acres in the village which she earned from running a provision store followed by an eatery after the demise of her grandmother. Her journey of organic farming in her 30s. She lost her husband a couple of years ago. She didn’t have any children of her own, so she raised her sister’s daughters and gave them 7.5 acres of land. Now she owns 2.5 acres of land in Thekkampatti where she cultivates pulses, millets, and vegetables on the banks of the river Bhavani.
Rangama had a keen interest in agriculture and she started learning about this from a very young age. She used to keenly attend the conferences held for new developments in organic farming. She also used to implement those in her field. The centenarian has also been a part of TN Agricultural University. Moreover, she had also been politically powerful in her early life. She was a ward member of Thekkampatti Panchayat. She was also elected as a councillor of Karamadai Panchayat and won the title of “1st women councillor” in the year 1959.
Rangama has always been passionate about organic farming and even at 105-year-old, she continues to follow her passion because she believes that age is just a number. She had never let anyone come in her way of what she wanted and achieve. The organic farmer has survived two world wars, India’s independence, other natural catastrophes, and now the COVID- 19. She believes her secret behind longevity is hard work, being straight forward and a simple livelihood. She still now participates in most of the agriculture-related events.
Meet Ms. Pappammal, a 105 yr old Organic Farmer from Coimbatore who has been cultivating varieties of millets, pulses & vegetables for over 9 decades. She will be conferred with Padma Shri 2021 for her contribution and efforts. #PadmaAwards2021 #PeoplesPadma pic.twitter.com/OFqsYg5cX2— MyGovIndia (@mygovindia) January 27, 2021
The organic farmer has survived two world wars, India’s independence, other natural catastrophes, and now the COVID- 19. She believes her secret behind longevity is hard work, being straight forward, and simple living with staying clear with mental worries. She is believed probably the oldest person in Tamil Nadu.
The lady has expressed her delight at the award granted and responded with ‘Nandri Pa’ which means ‘Thank You’.