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Palani lives with his French girlfriend Shakti in Djaima. None of his family is Aurovilian. When he asked in school, some years back, how he could become Aurovilian, he was told that he had been taken up as Aurovilian a long time back when he was still in New Creation School..! So he was lucky enough to miss the entire newcomer period and entry process.

From school to school to school

Palani comes from the local village of Kuilyapalayam. After attending a village boarding school, he was selected to take part in the New Creation School project for rural children. After this he joined Transition School and then Last School, where he studied English, French, and developed general knowledge of the world. In After School he was able to study further and finished with his 12th grade.

Training as accountant

"I didn't like computers, so I took a one-year course in export management instead. Already in Last School we did a two-month practicum, during which I was trained in Altecs. Later I worked for 'Naturally Auroville' as a secretary, but all this didn't really satisfy me. In the end I found what I liked: I now work together with Jean-Luc from France, who is a very good teacher and is training me as accountant for 10 to 13 AV units. We consult and advise executives how to run a company. The job is very exiting for me."

Berijam summer camps

Palani bears the same name as the Palani hills in which Berijam, the place where Auroville's kids go for their summer camps, and he is one of the Tamilian young men who accompanies the campers every year. "10 years back I went for the first time to the Ooty camp with Jean-Michel," Palani tells us. "There the emphasis was on trekking, and not so much on camping as we stayed for the night in pukka buildings. Later we came to Mundandurai where I liked it very much. It's a beautiful place, thick forest, coffee and tea plantations. Since Berijam came to be the established place for the summer camp, I have missed it only twice. Once I went to Mundal and the other time I went trekking in the Himalayas. Although I often make other trips, I love the camp. The bison, the lake, the mountains, - I know the area very well. But we cannot take the camp for granted and we all have to pay our contribution to make the camp happen," he says.

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