K. Kamaraj did his schooling from Nayanar Vidyalaya and after which, he enrolled at Kshatriya Vidyalaya which used to provide the high school at that point of time. In just one year of his enrollment at Kshatriya Vidyalaya his father died and since there was no other earning member in the house, her mother sold all her jewelry and on the interest of the money earned their family sustained their livelihood.
Since he wasn’t a bright student, he decided to drop out from the school at the age of 12. He then started working in his maternal uncle’s cloth shop. He was touched by the Jallianwala Baug massacre and decided to join India’s struggle movement for freedom. Simultaneously while working in his uncle’s shop, he used to take time out and participate in processions and public meetings. By the age of 16, he became a full-time worker of Congress. He actively took part in Dandi march the movement led by C. Rajagopalachari. For opposing British rule, he was sent to jail many times.
Looking at his work, he was appointed as the General Secretary of Congress Committee by his political guru and mentor S. Satyamurthi. He was elected as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1954. During his term as chief minister, he distributed school uniforms at free of cost to avoid class distinction and he also opened up numerous schools for underprivileged section of the society. It was he who introduced free midday meal which benefitted lakhs of students and also made education compulsory and frees up to XI standard.
It was during his term as a chief minister that dams such as Aliyar Dam, Vaikai Dam, Manimuthar Dam, Krishnagiri Dam and Sathanur Dam were constructed in record time. He served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for three successive terms from 1954 to 1963.