Here is Coimbatore grandma R Pappammal, an organic farmer getting one of the highest civilian honors in India.
She owns a 2.5-acre farm in her village, and in the past, grew lentils such as horse gram and green gram.
Now, she mostly grows bananas. Over the years, she has worked closely with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. She would travel alone to their many farmers’ meets and implement all that she learned.
A common question Pappammal endures is the secret to her long life. “I think it is what I ate growing up,” she says.
“I cooked millets such as ragi, thinai, and samai in a mud pot with water and mixed this with curd or buttermilk and drank it with crunchy onions or green chilies,” she says.
This was her breakfast before she headed out to the fields at 4 am.
“I brushed my teeth with neem twigs and used no other chemicals,” she adds. “Instead of soap, I rubbed myself clean with stone.”
She also never allowed age to slow her down. “Even today, I wake up before the sun, wash my face, and go around the village once,” she chuckles.
Inspiring, isn’t it?