Sociopreneur’s inspirational Story: Idli Amma Kamalathal

Dr. PARUL SHARDA -   Sociopreneurs are self-motivated, and self-propelled human beings who wish to bring change into the society by their good deeds. They consider community problems to their own personal problems and work day and night to solve the pain point. This article is an expression of respect to one such 85-year-old lady a SheHero of our country “Idli Amma Kamalathal” also known by the name “Paatima”.

To her “Profits are not the priority but feeding the people is what drives her to work, tirelessly”.

Idli Amma’s story is worth an inspirational tale that had first gone viral in 2019, when her video of working at a traditional wood-burning stove was shared repeatedly on social media. Also, it isher USP that she sells idlis for just a single rupee to all the daily wage earners at for over 30 years in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

It has been wisely said “What goes around…Comes around”. Her self-less motivation towards societal good, without having attention to her own profits, had prompted Union Minister for Petroleum and Gas Dharmendra Pradhan to issue an LPG connection for Idli Amma in order to improve her working conditions.

When Charity becomes the aim of life, these sociopreneurs works even in adverse conditions without expecting the return, like the sincere efforts of Idli Amma Kamalathal’sduring Lockdown, as she continued selling idli for Rupee: One, when the entire Nation was facing job losses and financial downturn. And her story again attracted the media and business giants because she was not only feeding her regular customers but also many migrants who were suffering and stuck because of this pandemic.

Her untiring and self-less efforts moved many people to come forward and help Idli Amma in her required material supply, preparation and dispatch of idlis, so she could keep up her philanthropic endeavours, moving at her best.

She begins her day at 5 am, so that she can serve and welcome the customers at 6 am. Being innovative in her approach she always uses to prepare a different flavoured chutney to be served with Idli so that customers enjoy their food.

One fine day dated 2nd April 2021, the kind hearted business tycoon Mr.Anand Mahindra  wrote “Only rarely does one get to play a small part in someone’s inspiring story, and I would like to thank Kamalathal, better known as Idli Amma, for letting us play a small part in hers. She will soon have her own house cum workspace from where she will cook & sell idlis,”.

Also, with his kind gesture he extended his gratitude to the Registration Office at Thondamuthur for helping in achieving their 1st milestone by speedily registering the land” and also, he thanked Bharat Gas Coimbatore for providing Kamalathal with a continued supply of LPG, through his personal twitter handle@anandmahindra.

And the ray of hope for all the sociopreneurs gets brighter and it proves that “What goes around, comes around.”

Dr. Parul Sharda, author of this article, is the Associate Professor and HOD (Management), Indore Management Institute & Research Centre, Indore.

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