He is the ‘parotta' master for his tiny tea shop on a 400 sq.ft. premises in his village. His wife, a former village president, assists him. But after 11 a.m., this ‘parotta' master assumes another avatar – meeting villagers, sorting out knotty local issues and monitoring the development works.
For the 58-year old V. Velusamy, president of Dasanaickenpatti village panchayat near Salem, it is a routine working in his tea stall and attending to the president's works. This, he has been doing since 2006 as he got elected for a second term as president for the Village Panchayat.
“The job gives me immense satisfaction since I mingle with my fellow villagers. For them I am a tea stall owner first and a village president next, since I am running the stall for long.”
“God has been very cordial to me. Our hard work fetches a decent income. That is enough for two of us, myself and my wife who served as the village chairperson during 1996-2001, since both my two sons and one daughter have already been settled,” he points out. As the village is located nearer to Salem city, where the real estate boom is rocking, he, as a president, is facing a few problems. “A few accused me of issuing no objection certificates to real estate people. But I have nothing to hide.,” he claims. A few disgruntled elements, he says, would always resort to such mudslinging since he and his wife have been in the president post for nearly 10 years now. “The villagers repose faith in us,” he points out.
The village has 1500 families. It also has gained notoriety recently when 5 members of a family of a retired sub-inspector were killed brutally. The ‘parotta' master loves to contest for the third term, which looks remote since in all probability the village would be brought under reservation.