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.
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- 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.
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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.