Siluvampalayam did not have a school, due to which Palanisamy had to go to a nearby village Koneripatti for early schooling. He was among the first batch of students who travelled a little more than one km to attend early schooling at Koneripatti, 55 years ago. After a government elementary school was established at Siluvampalayam, he shifted there. Now a higher secondary school, it has nearly 700 students and 27 teachers. “We are planning a felicitation for the Chief Minister,” says A Kalaiarasi, the head mistress of the school. “He is very fond of the school and used to come here at least twice a year amid his busy schedule,” says assistant head master of the school R Murugan.
The high profile alumnus has shown a soft corner for his school by meeting the requirements on a priority basis. Students here were the first in the district to get free laptops in the district when the scheme was launched in 2011-12. He has spent over Rs. 30 lakh of government funds for the betterment of facilities in the school over the last five years. The school has produced quite a few doctors and engineers. “We can proudly raise our collar that we are from the school that produced the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” says Class 12 student A Mohammed Rafi. Palanisamy joined B.Sc. Zoology in Vasavi College, Erode, in 1973. “The following year he joined AIADMK and was too involved in politics that he did not concentrate in his studies. He completed three-years in the college in April 1976 but did not complete his degree as he had some arrears,” college sources told DTNext.
R Nallathambi of Edappadi says that Palanisamy is easily accessible. “He is soft spoken and decisive. He says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the spot when asked for help. He does not drag things. He deserves to be the CM,” he adds.