Indian Farming Grandmother Gets Over 1.6 Million Subscribers as a Viral YouTuber

Indian Farming Grandmother Gets Over 1.6 Million Subscribers as a Viral YouTuberIndian Farming Grandmother Gets Over 1.6 Million Subscribers as a Viral YouTuber
Ryan General
August 24, 2020
A grandmother from the countryside is one of the main attractions of a viral YouTube channel in India with over a million subscribers.
Countryside comedy: In 2012, local filmmaker Srikanth Sriram started the YouTube channel “My Village Show” as a platform to showcase comedy sketches about the joys of living the rural family life, CNN reported.
  • To effectively portray all the quirkiness of village culture, Sriram assembled a nine-member team of writers, editors and camera people for his channel.
  • Over the years, the channel slowly built a following, inspiring Sriram to develop more content. 
  • Soon, Sriram’s own mother-in-law Gangavva Milkuri started making guest appearances in the sketches.
  • Viewers responded positively to Milkuri, who eventually became more involved with the channel in 2017 when the channel rose to immense popularity.
  • According to Sriram, Milkuri is illiterate and required assistance from his crew in explaining the scripts to her.  
  • However, she is a natural at acting. “I like being in front of the camera, I like acting,” Milkuri was quoted as saying.
Rise in popularity: With over 200 uploads, “My Village Show” has so far racked up more than 364 million views and generated over 1.6 million subscribers.
  • The channel was awarded its golden plaque from YouTube in 2019 upon reaching one million subscribers.
  • YouTube’s Asia Pacific spokesperson Tu Nguyen attributes the channel’s success to the rise of “niche” categories in India, such as female-led and farming channels.
  • She also credited the show’s use of Telugu, a regional language that happens to be Milkuri’s mother tongue.
  • The channel receives money from advertisers, which Sriram shares with his crew and his mother-in-law. Sriram also gives back to the village and has even set up a small open-access library in the production office.
  • “YouTube is changing everyone’s life,” says Sriram. “If people use it in a good way, everyone can become a star, everyone can solve their real-life problems. The tech is really changing our village people’s lives.”
Farmer to YouTuber: Gangavva Milkuri, a grandma of eight from the village of Lambadipally, says she did not plan on becoming a YouTube star.
  • Milkuri, who says she doesn’t know her real age due to the lack of her birth records, had no formal education.
  • Before appearing on the channel, Milkuri had no clue what YouTube even was.
  • “I never imagined in my life that one day I would be in his videos!” she said. 
  • Back then, she mostly did farm work to support her family.   
  • “My husband was an alcoholic,” she shared. “I had to pick up all the hard work and provide for my two daughters and my son.”
  • Her involvement with “My Village Show” would eventually transform her life. 
  • The channel has been providing Milkuri with a steady income, allowing her to settle her debts and save up for the new house she’s planning to build for herself in the future.
  • Beyond YouTube, Milkuri’s popularity has also reached Instagram, where her personal account has attracted over 41,000 followers.
  • Last year, she acted in Telugu language movies, “iSmart Shankar” and “Mallesham.”
  • Musing about her appeal to viewers, Milkuri said, “I think people like the way I talk. I am an old lady, you know, and I’m not educated.”
  • Fans from all over India now visit Milkuri’s village to take selfies with her.
Feature Image (left) via @gangavva, (right) @myvillageshow
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