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Our Story

I am Alli known as Aaranya Alli, from an agricultural family. Born and brought up near the foothills of Kolli Hills, Thoppapatti Jederpalayam in Namakkal District. Moved to Salem after marriage. Found a passion for fabrics and tailoring. It’s needless to say about the obstacles a women had to overcome to achieve her dream different from the people around her. Against all odds, ran a successful tailoring unit for more than 2 decades and I am more than happy to say that I was able to create job opportunities for many girls and women to become financially independent and helped them to attain the next level by starting their own business too.

Though I worked towards my professional goals and achievements, there was always one more thing dear to my heart. After moving to Salem town, I missed the taste of fresh vegetables which we used to grew and have back in our farm at my village. So, I looked for ways to grow my own veggies and greens in the available limited space at my home and succeeded after several experiments. Then started supporting others and provided guidance for setting up kitchen/terrace gardening for people who shared similar interest.

As I grew up not only exploring plants, trees and seen many phases of agriculture but also hearing lots of stories about traditional form of agriculture from my ancestors. Through our own experience of various types of farming from traditional to adapting to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, I have learnt the effects and side effects. All these gave a vast exposure and an urge to do more to not only get back to having safe food but also to contribute to the society. This led me to explore more on the other adaptive methods of farming and agriculture.  I have gained adequate field experience in both Permaculture Method of Organic Farming and Ayya Nammalvar's Method of Traditional Farming. Thus Aaranya Pasumai Kudil was started with a simple dream. A dream to not only provide pesticide-free greens, veggies and food for my family/friends but also to support those who desires to have safe food.

I have guided and supported many farmers for setting up organic farming and continue to provide the required support services to sustain them. One personal favorite project was, planting native and fruit trees in Mettupatty for Vallalar Mandram in Salem. It is a small rocky hill where we planted around 750 samplings and have seen them grow naturally, and the place has now transformed into a mini forest. I also have helped a few Government Schools to set up terrace garden. I am always exited to share my experience and knowledge to younger minds in schools and colleges and that gives me an immense satisfaction as they are the ones who would carry this legacy of “Safe food for safe health!”. Apart from this, I have also joined hand with Handloom weavers in and around Salem to ensure betterment of their livelihood. Handloom Sarees are pride of our Nation and by buying them we not only support an individual but also help that art to survive for generations to come. 

Awards received:

I feel overwhelmed and honoured by the recognition received for the work I have done in the field of organic farming. It not only motivates people like me, but also encourage others to carry forward the work in such fields. I was honoured with awards from Thanjavur Siragugal Arakattalai, Namalvar Virudhu,  
Suryan FM’s Mudhal Padi, 
Salem Sangamam, Thai Thiruvilzha, 
The Hindu, Ini Oru Vidhi Seivom, 
JCI Women Achievers Award, 
Kalainar TV’s Nam Oor Nam Perumai and more.

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