When Chandra Subramanian, winner of the Homepreneur Award 2017, heard she was going to get an award in Chennai, she did not hesitate for a moment – ‘I’ll go,’ she said. It would be her first trip alone and her first to the capital city, over 10 hours and two bus journeys away from her hometown in Sivaganga district. She rattled off a route – from her village [Melakadu] to Sivagangai town on her brother’s bike, a bus from there to Trichy and then on to Chennai. Did she know anybody in the city, I asked. There were distant relatives she said. We made plans for the day. What do you want to do after the award, I asked her, certain she might want to take the first bus back home. ‘I want to see the Marina Beach… can anybody go to Chennai and not see it?’ she asked, laughing.
And so Chandra went to Chennai on Sunday, August 6th to receive the Homepreneur Award 2017 in the Agriculture category. She was nominated by Aruna Subramanian [on the Homepreneur Award jury] for being an inspiration. Aruna had read Chandra’s story when it was published in March 2016 [Women’s day] on the PARI Website. During the award’s function, the organisers – Brand Avatar – played the accompanying video and Chandra received her prize amidst ringing applause.
At the end of the ceremony, when all the awardees were present on stage, a citation and cash purse of Rs.5000 from the People’s Archive of Rural India was handed over to Chandra. She is also promised financial help from Bhoomika Trust, Chennai, to build a toilet in her house.
Chandra’s back home in Sivagangai. She’s shown the awards to her children and mother. What next, I asked her. ‘I’d like to do more, I’m wondering what to plant in the land that’s fallow…maybe more flowers, more vegetables…’
Read more…. “A thorny life, but Chandra bets on flowers“