Meet 105 yr old Padma Shri awardee Pappammal, the farmer who wants people to take up farming
Chennai, Feb 06: Ever since news of her being conferred the Padma Shri broke, the farmer from Thekkampatti in Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, people have been thronging to congratulate 105-year-old Pappammal, also known as R Rangama.
"She is thoroughly enjoying the attention," says her 45-year-old grandson R Balasubramaniam, who is also a farmer. He adds, "She is now receiving invitations for delivering guest lectures about farming at educational institutions."
A proponent of organic farming for more than seven decades, she started working on a 10-acre plot she bought when she was in her 30s, from the savings she made running a store in the village.
Pappammal says it's the right time for everyone to get back to farming. "We need more farmers. I hope many more people take up farming after hearing my story and work as hard as me. One should never sit idle," she states.
The centenarian, who is now a local celebrity, said, "I am really happy and proud to have received this honour. The whole world is surprised that even after crossing the age of 100, I do farming. I have been getting 50-100 visitors every day, who have come from far to congratulate me. It feels good."
Pappammal's day begins at 5am, when she heads out to her 2.5-acre farm and monitors the work going on there.
Pappammal has earlier collaborated with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) for organic farming sessions. She has dabbled in politics as well, with a stint as a councillor of the Thekkampatti panchayat.
She credits it to the millet-based diet she follows, along with a generous helping of keerai and fresh vegetables. She never drinks coffee or tea instead, opts for sukku malli kaapi and her favourite food to this day is mutton biryani.