Meet Muthu Master who pretended to be a man for three decades to raise his daughter
Playing the role of a mother is the most difficult of all the roles a woman plays in her life. But there are also mothers who raise their children alone without the support of their partner. But the story of Muthu Master will completely shock you. This mother from the Toothukodi or Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu has raised her daughter alone and in the guise of a man for more than three decades since the death of her husband.
Why Master Muthu dressed up
Pechiyammal or Muthu Master was only 20 years old when she lost her husband to a heart attack just 15 days after getting married. After that, she gave birth to a baby girl, but finding a home was a challenge. She tried to find work but was harassed. She eventually settled in Katunayakkanpatti.
In an effort to look like a man and avoid harassment, she changed her name, cut her hair and started wearing a lungi and shirt so she could raise her daughter. The other option was to remarry, but she chose to live her life independently.
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The next challenge for her was to earn a living to raise her daughter. She picked up many odd jobs that are traditionally supposed to be done by men. The 57-year-old also worked in a tea and parotta shop.
In a interview, she said, “I’ve done all kinds of jobs, from painting, tea master, parotta master to a 100 day job. I saved every penny to ensure a secure life for my daughter. After days, Muthu became my identity which in turn was mentioned on all documents including Aadhaar, voter ID card and bank account.
The challenges she faces now
Muthu has been working for three decades. It is no longer easy for her to continue working because her body is gradually giving up. She wanted to apply for Tamil Nadu Widows Pension Scheme for limited financial assistance but she is not able. She does not have her husband’s death certificate, which adds to her woes. Besides that, she has a male name on her Aadhar card. She is now struggling to achieve what she wants.