A crafty woman reportedly spent 36 years pretending to be a man to protect her daughter and keep herself safe from stalkers.
S.Petchiammal from the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India, made the unusual sacrifice for decades while raising the child alone.
Married when she was 20, she tragically lost her husband while pregnant with his daughter only 15 days after their wedding and quickly found life as a single mum a struggle in the strict, traditional and sometimes unsafe environment of her village.
Petchiammal eventually decided to move away, and began to cut her hair and change her clothing after a personal visit to Tiruchendur Murugan Temple, where she rechristened herself with the name â€˜Muthuâ€™.
The devoted mum then spent the rest of her life keeping her true identity a secret from everyone but her daughter and close members of family as she took on a range of manual jobs, including work in construction, hotels and tea shops.
Revealing the story of her life in disguise as a man, Ms Petchiammal told the New India Express:-
â€œWe resettled at Kattunayakkanpatti over 20 years ago. Only my close relatives back home and my daughter knew that I am a woman,â€