TN woman farmer becomes inspiration for a storybook

Hailing from Melakadu hamlet in Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu, Chandra Subramanian is a fearless single parent, farmer and retailer who does things her way. An enterprising farmer, she hates the pity of other people.
TN woman farmer becomes inspiration for a storybook
Cover of the book; Aparna and Chandra


Inspired by her life story, Karadi Tales and People's Archive of Rural India (PARI) along with author Aparna Karthikeyan have published a book titled No Nonsense Nandhini. The book is one among the five stories in the PARI series.
“I met Chandra a few years ago and was completely blown away by her character. She is a very jovial and inspiring person. A single mother, she is fully committed to educating her children. And it is for them that Chandra chose to become a farmer. I wrote about her in PARI and Karadi Tales, a children’s publishing house based in Chennai, got impressed by her life story and we decided to publish it as a book. The work of women farmers is never acknowledged let alone celebrated. The book highlights the role of a woman farmer in our society,” says Aparna.
The author tells us that it was Chandra who selected the name Nandhini for her character in the book. Naresh has the world’s coolest mother — she wakes up at midnight, dons a miner’s lamp and goes to her field to harvest flowers. Will he be able to show everyone at school that she’s a hero? “This is a story about a woman who cultivates a cheery disposition and stubbornly pursues her daring, unusual dreams. Naresh, Nandhini’s son, wants to show his friends how cool his mother is. But one day, he comes home crying asking his mother that how being a farmer can be aspirational to others. The book traces Nandhini’s life journey — how from a young girl she ended up being a woman farmer taking care of her family. Nandhini goes back to Naresh’s school and tells children that farming is not something that should be stigmatised and even children can get involved in it. The young farmer inspires children to take up farming,” Aparna explains.
No Nonsense Nandhini traces the joys, sorrows, struggles and success Chandra. “She has gone through a lot of hardships. But since the book is for children, I had to tone down her sufferings,” the author remarks.

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