This 84-YO Tamil Nadu Grandmother Sells Idlis For Just Rs 2, Wants To ‘Work Hard Till Her Last Breath’


Stepping into Dhanam Paati’s home in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, you’ll find people eagerly awaiting their turn for hot idlis, chutney, and sambhar. While her idli shop lacks conventional furniture and a grand entrance, it overflows with the octogenarian’s warmth.

The Origins of Her Idli Business

Starting her venture under tough financial circumstances, with two kids and a sick husband, Dhanam Paati was determined to keep her meals affordable.

She began selling idlis at 3 paise each, gradually raising the price as her children grew. Even four years ago, an idli was just one rupee.

Business Milestones

After her husband passed away three years ago, she raised the price slightly. When asked why she doesn’t increase it more, she says, “A full meal should cost just Rs 10.”

Selflessness at 84

Despite her age, she prioritizes helping others over her own needs. She survives on multiple cups of tea and the kindness of people who give her rice, lentils, and sometimes money.

Her only wish is for a solid home, as her current one is old and unstable.

The Secret to Affordable Idlis – How Come Her Idli So Cheap

Living in a basic house, she makes idlis with rationed grains and pulses. While the ration is often insufficient, loyal customers and well-wishers provide her with extra rice, enabling her to keep prices low.

Why She Keeps Working

Even in her 80s, she continues working to avoid being a burden on her struggling children.