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.
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.
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