Remember K Kamalathal, the woman in her early 80s who sells idlis for one rupee to unprivileged people in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district? Amid coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown that affected millions of lives ‘Idli Patti’ or ‘Paatima‘ too has been facing losses in her business, but she refuses to raise the price of her idlis even now.

Last year, one viral video on social media helped Paatima’s story reach us. She became the talk of the nation for single-handedly running  a business and offering idlis at very economical prices. To sustain her generous business Bharathiar University came to her aid with food and grocery kits. Also, members of the Hindustan Scouts and Guides donated essentials to Kamalathal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eighty-year-old Kamalathal, who sells idlis for just one rupee per piece to daily wage workers, doesn’t want to raise the price of her idlis even amid coronavirus outbreak.
  • Several donations have come to help the good Samaritan who says she has been trying her best to provide the idli at Rs 1.
  • Kamalathal said the last time she raised the idli price was 15 years ago.

She told India Today, “The situation has been a little difficult since corona started but I have been trying my best to provide the idli at Rs 1. I won’t raise the price of my idli. There is an increase in the price of every commodity. There are more people coming. Many migrant labourers are stuck here and so there are more people coming. There are people who are coming and helping me. They are providing essentials and I am using that to make Rs 1 idlis.”

Eighty-year-old Kamalathal sells idlis for just one rupee per piece to daily wage workers. Kamalathal has been running this eatery for 30-35 years and has no planning to stop now.

Prashant Uthama, Coimbatore sector head of the group, said, “We heard about the situation of Idli Patty and how she has been providing food at Rs 1, but during this Covid-19 period, I was wondering how she was able to manage. To help her, I gave her some contribution and I feel blessed that I was able to do my bit.”

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Several donations have come to help the elderly businesswoman and she says that she has been trying her best to provide the idli at Re 1. DMK Chief MK Stalin also came forward to have a discussion with Idli Patti on Saturday.

In the video that was circulated last year, Idli Patti was shown using her traditional stone grinder and showed us how she makes batter and masalas, how she uses wood-burning stove to make idli and sambar. Netizens praised her story as it moved everybody owning to her spirit and determination.

The elderly woman wakes up early every day, before sunrise. Her only concern is to feed the needy. She said the last time she raised the idli price was 15 years ago. Initially, it was 50 paise but she had to raise the price given the ever-increasing price of the ingredients. “Profits are not my priority but feeding the people is what drives me to work,” she told India Today. “I use eight kg of rice for the batter,” The Hindu was quoted the octogenarian as saying.

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Feature Image credit: newindianexpress

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