Tamil Nadu Woman Disguises Herself as Man for Three Decades to Raise Daughter

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For 30 years, a mother from Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district pretended to be a male in order to raise her daughter alone.

Pechiyammal, 20, from Katunayakkanpatti village in Thoothukudi, lost her husband 15 days after their wedding to a heart attack three decades ago.

Pechiyammal began working after giving birth to a daughter, but she was harassed.

Pechiyammal chose to disguise herself as a male and use the name Muthu in order to raise her only daughter without having to remarry.

She shaved her head and began dressing in a lungi and shirt to imitate a male. Muthu has worked in a variety of venues in Chennai and Thoothukudi during the last three decades, including hotels and tea shops. ‘Annachi’ was her nickname everywhere she worked (a traditional name for a male).

Muthu earned the nickname ‘Muthu Master’ after working at Parotta and tea businesses.

“I worked as a painter, a tea master, a parotta master, and even 100-day work,” Pechiyammal stated. I put every penny aside to provide a stable future for my daughter. Muthu became my identity after a few days, and was listed on all of my paperwork, including my Aadhaar, voter ID, and bank account.”

Pechiyammal admitted that it was difficult at first. “With my daughter’s safety in mind, I chose to go through the hardship.” At a time when I was travelling more to earn a living, disguised as a guy kept me safer at work. In buses, I always sat on the men’s side to establish my identity. I went to the men’s restroom. “I paid the fare despite the government announcing free bus travel for women,” she remarked.


Pechiyammal, 57, is happy now. “Now that my daughter is married, I believe I have achieved all of my goals.” Even when I die, I want to be remembered in this way. If I get a government pension, I’ll live the rest of my life like a man. “I’m not eligible for a lot of schemes,” she explained.

Only a few individuals, including her daughter Shanmugasundari, were aware of her difficulties. “She dedicated her entire life to me.” “I hope she gets the allowance,” Shanmugasundari expressed his desire.

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