Kamalathal, a woman in her 80s in Tamil Nadu, had been quietly doing a noble deed for 30 years -- selling hearty meals of idlis to labourers at just Re 1 -- before the world took note of her.
In 2019, industrialist Anand Mahindra, who is known to spot and amplify everyday stories of grit, shared a video of her cooking idlis on a wooden burner and helped her get a gas connection.
Kamalathal, who became known as “idli amma”, cooked from a shanty shop and also needed a home-workspace. The Mahindra Group team committed itself to providing her one. In 2021, they got land registered for the new space in Thondamuthur and began construction.
The home was completed just in time for Mother's Day 2022 and presented to Kamalathal, Anand Mahindra tweeted.
Immense gratitude to our team for completing the construction of the house in time to gift it to Idli Amma on #MothersDay She’s the embodiment of a Mother’s virtues: nurturing, caring & selfless. A privilege to be able to support her & her work. Happy Mother’s Day to you all! pic.twitter.com/LgfR2UIfnm
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) May 8, 2022
"Superb work ! Next time so let me know I will be happy to share the cost with a small amount, I am not a man of major means, but will be happy to pick up a small share," said a user named Lalit Gore.
Economist Rajiv Kumar said: "It’s such a wonderful gesture, Anand. Congratulations to your team!"