Living on just tea for 30 years? Meet Chhattisgarh’s “chai wali chachi”

KORIYA: While nothing sounds more tempting than a piping hot cup of tea during chilly winters, can you imagine surviving on just that? A woman living in Chhattisgarh has been drinking just tea for the last 30 years and is said to be “completely healthy”.
Living in Baradiya village of Koriya district, Pilli Devi gave up food at the age of 11 and has been surviving on tea ever since. Famous for her unique lifestyle, she is locally known as ”chai wali chachi.”

According to her father Rati Ram, the 44-year-old quit food when she was in the sixth grade. “Our daughter went to participate in a district level tournament from Patna School in Janakpur, Koriya District. When she returned, she suddenly gave up eating food and drinking water.”

He also added that Pilli Devi initially took biscuits and bread with milk tea, but she gradually switched to black tea, which she consumes once a day after sunset.

Her brother Bihari Lal Rajvade pointed out that they had sought medical help to ensure she is not suffering from any disease, but doctors couldn’t diagnose any health issue behind her behaviour.

“We have taken her to many hospitals, none of the doctors could figure out the reason behind her situation,” he said.

According to her family members, Pilli Devi rarely steps out of the house. She is absorbed in Lord Shiva’s worship throughout the day.

Dr SK Gupta from district hospital, Koriya, said that it is not possible for human beings to survive on just tea.

“It is surprising. Scientifically speaking, a human being cannot survive on tea for 33 years. It’s different when people keep fast for nine days during Navratri and only drink tea. But 33 years is a lot of time, this is not possible.”