A 57-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu, India, disguised herself as a man for 30 years in order to raise her daughter alone. After she shared to truth, her incredible story has gone viral on the internet.
Three decades ago, Pechiyammal, 20, from Katunayakkanpatti village in Thoothukudi, lost her husband to a heart attack 15 days after their wedding.
After giving birth to a girl, Pechiyammal started working but faced harassment.
In order to raise her only daughter without remarrying, Pechiyammal decided to disguise herself as a man and became a Muthu.
Pechiyammal decided to disguise herself as a man with a new name Muthu to raise her only daughter without remarrying. She cut her hair and wore a lungi and shirt as if she is a man. Muthu has worked in various places over the past three decades, such as in hotels, tea shops, and parotha shops in Chennai and Thoothukudi. She was referred to as 'Annachi' wherever she worked. Annachi means a traditional name for a male. Muthu earned the title 'Muthu Master' after working in tea shops.
Pechiyammal said, "I worked as a painter, tea master, and parotta maker. I also saved every rupee to provide a secure future for my daughter. After a few days, Muthu became my identity. It was reflected on all her documents. This even includes my Aadhaar, Voter ID, and bank account."
Further, she stated that it was difficult at first, but I decided to undertake the trouble for my daughter's safety in mind. "Disguising as a man keeps me safe when I used to travel for work. I always used to seat on the men's side on the buses and used to pay bus fares eventhough free travelling is allowed for women. I even use the men's toilet."
Pechiyammal is happy now. “My daughter is married and I feel that I have fulfilled all my wishes. I wish to be remembered like this even after my death. I will spend the rest of my life as a man if I receive a pension from the government. I am not eligible for many schemes,” she said.
Only a few individuals, including her daughter, Shanmugasundari, were aware of her difficulties. “She dedicated her life to me. I hope she receives the allowance,” said Shanmugasundari.