P. Chinnapillai resident of Madurai is all of 70 years.A little more than 4 feet tall, with her grit and determination she shot to fame as she travelled a rough path to empower rural women through the Kalanjiyam microcredit movement.
In the year 2000, she was presented with the Shri Shakti Puraskar by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee She has mobilized over 100 women from a remote village in Madurai to form a cluster of micro savings and micro financing model .This movement has uplifted scores of women and rescued many families from poverty. She earned a daily wage of Rs 20 and along with 15 women she started the group. They contributed rupees 20 each gradually increasing it to Rs 50. In that way in 5 years they saved rupees 10000 .These women have become entrepreneurs and are doing dairy farming ,fish farming ,mushroom culture, beekeeping ,tailoring shops etc.