Hunching over and making her way slowly towards the stove, every day Tamil Nadu’s 85-year-old K. Kamalathal makes idlis for Rs 1 each and despite a rise in prices, she refuses to increase her rates. Fondly known as “Idli Amma”, she wants to feed the poor migrant workers suffering amidst the lockdown.
Kamalathal belongs to the city of Coimbatore, where she operates a kitchen from her home, making a living selling the popular breakfast food.
During the nationwide lockdown in India, the prices of ingredients have gone up and production has gotten costlier for Kamalathal but she refuses to sell her dish for more.
"The situation is a little difficult since COVID-19 started, but I am trying to provide idlis for to the poor. I won't raise rate but prices of ingredients have risen," she said in a video report by news magazine India Today.
According to Indian media reports, many people have recently come forward to help Kamalathal with the raw materials after learning about her cause.
Her efforts were recognised by Indian Michelin Star Chef, Vikas Khanna and he posted about her on May 10 on his Twitter account, @TheVikasKhanna: “Can someone, anyone connect me to K. Kamalathal, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu? I have 350 Kgs Rice secured near Chennai. Someone can help me coordinate. And tell her - Happy Mothers Day and I love her.”
Mohammad Kaif, former Indian cricketer, @MohammadKaif, also posted a picture of Kamalatha and called her effort "inspirational": “[…] Her selfless service is an inspiration!”