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Meeting Kamlathal Garu The Inspirational Idli Amma of Coimbatore

Meeting Kamlathal Garu The Inspirational Idli Amma of Coimbatore

Jayesh Ranjan, Met an amazing Kamlathal garu while presenting the @Kalamandir_FN Seva Ratna awards. She is 84 yrs old from Coimbatore. For last 35 years, she is making & selling Idlis to needy for just 1 ₹. Sells 600 sets daily for 600 ₹, and saves 100 ₹, enough for her needs. Deep respects


In the bustling city of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, lives an extraordinary woman known to many as Idli Amma. Kamlathal Garu, an 84-year-old woman, has been making and selling idlis for just 1 ₹ for the last 35 years. Her story is one of compassion, dedication, and an unwavering spirit to serve the needy. This article delves into the life of Kamlathal Garu, her impact on the community, and the recognition she has received through the Kalamandir_FN Seva Ratna awards.

Historical Context

Early Life of Kamlathal Garu

Kamlathal Garu’s journey began in a humble village near Coimbatore. Born into a modest family, she learned the art of making idlis from her mother. Little did she know that this skill would one day become her tool to serve and uplift her community.

Beginnings of Idli Business

Thirty-five years ago, Kamlathal Garu decided to sell idlis to support her family. She noticed the financial struggles of the daily wage laborers in her neighborhood and resolved to sell her idlis at an affordable price of just 1 ₹. This decision was not driven by profit but by a deep sense of empathy and community service.

The Philosophy Behind 1 ₹ Idlis

Commitment to Affordability

Kamlathal Garu’s commitment to selling idlis at 1 ₹ stems from her understanding of the economic hardships faced by many. By keeping the price low, she ensures that even the poorest individuals can afford a nutritious meal.

Simplicity and Sustainability

Her business model is simple and sustainable. Every day, she makes 600 idlis, selling them all for 600 ₹ and saving 100 ₹ for her needs. This modest income is sufficient for her, demonstrating that sometimes, less is more.

Impact on the Community

Feeding the Needy

Kamlathal Garu’s idlis have become a lifeline for many daily wage earners and underprivileged individuals in Coimbatore. Her consistent and affordable meals ensure that they do not go hungry, fostering a sense of security and community welfare.

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Her small idli stall has become a place where people from various walks of life gather, creating a sense of belonging and community spirit. Her kindness and dedication have made her a beloved figure in Coimbatore.

Recognition and Awards

Kalamandir_FN Seva Ratna Awards

Kamlathal Garu’s selfless service was recognized through the prestigious Kalamandir_FN Seva Ratna awards. This honor celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to society through their selfless service and dedication.

Media Attention and Public Support

Her story has garnered media attention and public support, highlighting the importance of community service and inspiring others to follow her example.

Challenges and Resilience

Overcoming Financial Constraints

Despite the financial constraints, Kamlathal Garu has never wavered in her commitment to serving affordable meals. Her resilience in the face of economic challenges is truly commendable.

Physical Demands

At 84 years old, the physical demands of making and selling 600 idlis daily are significant. Yet, she continues to work tirelessly, driven by her unwavering dedication to her mission.

Community Support

Local Donations and Contributions

The local community has rallied around Kamlathal Garu, providing donations and support to ensure she can continue her work. This collective effort underscores the power of community solidarity.

Volunteers and Helpers

Over the years, volunteers and helpers have stepped forward to assist her, ensuring that the idlis reach those who need them the most. Their involvement amplifies the impact of her efforts.

The Legacy of Idli Amma

Inspiring Future Generations

Kamlathal Garu’s story is a powerful example of how one individual’s dedication can make a significant impact. Her legacy inspires future generations to engage in community service and prioritize the welfare of others.

A Model of Selflessness

Her life serves as a model of selflessness and compassion, reminding us all of the importance of giving back to the community.


Kamlathal Garu, the Idli Amma of Coimbatore, exemplifies the profound impact one person can have through simple acts of kindness and dedication. Her 35-year commitment to selling idlis at 1 ₹ has not only fed the needy but also fostered a sense of community and inspired countless others. Her recognition through the Kalamandir_FN Seva Ratna awards is a testament to her extraordinary contributions. As we reflect on her journey, let us be inspired to serve our communities with the same compassion and dedication.

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