Meet the 105 year old farmer -Padma Shri awardee who has great life lessons ...


We can learn great life lessons from -Pappammal, a centenarian from Tamil Nadu has been conferred the national honour for her work in organic farming for the past 70 years.

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. During her interviews with various medias after her Padma Shri, she said she still tends to 2.5 acres where she cultivates a variety of crops including millets, bananas, and okra. Her day begins at 5 am each day and she starts work in the fields by 6am. Her favourite food to this day is mutton biryani, and she only eats on a leaf. The centenarian is also a part of the TN Agricultural University’s advisory committee, and keeps abreast of the latest developments in organic farming by taking part in conferences. She dabbled in politics as well, and was a former ward member of Thekkampatti panchayat and elected as a councillor in Karamadai panchayat union. She credits ragi, thinai and samai cooked in mud pot with water and mixed with curd -butter milk -onions and green chilies ..no use of any chemicals as the secret to her long purposeful active life.


In life we are often intimidated with our work, old age, uncertainties or fear of death, during those moments if we see such beautiful people who inspire us to live every single day, doing something innovative-interesting in our field without any expectation of recognition, but just the joy of living a life of service and adventure, life can be more meaningful.

The 6 lessons from Pappamal's life are following:

  1. Learning continuously, applying the learnings in our space of work and collaborating with others in the same space to keep the journey enriching. Pappammal's working with the local university to enhance her knowledge and also use the same in her day to day at her farm is a sure way of keeping her brain wired to do more with her life. Though she had no formal schooling she takes every opportunity in her environment to enhance her knowledge and skills. Learning is not about degrees or certifications, it's about being open to the new at all times.

  2. Invest wisely no matter where you are - Pappammal's insight to start a farm land from her savings from a store is a perfect example of a vision for future...that too at the age of 50...when most people start thinking of retirement. Today life expectancy has increased so unless we decide to invest and develop a mindset to work till we live, our life becomes a burden for us and also others.

  3. Rise early and start at your craft that gives you sheer happiness of being -She gets up at 5 and gets to her field by 6 every morning to inspire people she works with. This habit not only helps our well being but also progresses us in our goals.

  4. Donate what you can and when you can - After keeping her farm produce for herself and her husband, she donated to the people around. When you give others you are creating abundance for yourself in your life. When you are in a mindset to give, a mind of peace and abundance is gradually nurtured which cannot be taught or learnt any other way.

  5. Doing the NEW whenever you can -She is also the first woman Sarpanch of her village...again daring to DO something totally new. Her ability to explore the opportunities, to utilize her skills for service and adventure is inspiring. Opportunities to do new things no matter how humble they are keeps our spirit alive.

  6. Cultivating ENERGY -ENTHUSIASM - that people would love to be with ...We all have a choice to live in enthusiasm of life or complain. The former gives us more experience -adventure -happiness from life.

Look forward to your thoughts on this inspiring lady. Also do share with us, if you are privy to any such person who can be a sure life lesson and role model to many.





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