Childhood & Early Life :
Born to a Gujarati family in the village of Karamsad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the fourth of the six children of his father, Jhaveribhai. He had three elder brothers, and a younger brother and sister.
Ever since the young age, Vallabhbhai showed streak of being tough and physically strong. Twice a month, he would indulge in day-long fast, abstaining from food and water.
Much of his education was attained in schools in Nadiad, Petlad and Borsad. He completed his matriculation at the age of 22. While others in his family thought him to be unambitious and unfocussed, Vallabhbhai had plans of becoming a barrister.
To fulfill the same, he spent a number of years away from his family. He studied on borrowed books from lawyers, worked hard and saved funds and cracked the examination in two years.
In the early years of practice, Vallabhbhai had a reputation of being a fierce and skilled lawyer. He practiced in Godhra, Borsad and Anand. He even served as the first chairman of the E.M.H.S (Edward Memorial High School).
Having enough bank balance, Vallabhbhai applied for a pass and ticket to England, which was granted to him under the name ‘V.T. Patel’. Vithalbhai, who bore the same initials, lured by the opportunity to fulfil his long-since harboured plan, requested Vallabhbhai to allow him to travel in the latter’s place.
For the sake of family honor and prestige, Vallabhbhai allowed Vithalbhai to go in his place. What’s more, he even financed his brother’s stay and started saving again to accomplish his goals.
It was in the year 1911 that Vallabhbhai Patel finally lived his dream as he travelled all the way to England. He topped the 36-month course which he had enrolled in. It was a remarkable feat as Patel had no formal college education, unlike most others.
Though Patel was offered lucrative post by the British Government, he rejected them all to come back to India. Upon arriving in India, Patel started practicing as a barrister in Ahmedabad. Soon he became a name to reckon with in the legal circles. His European-style clothes and urban mannerism had become the talk of the town. Working hard, Patel greatly expanded his practice and his wealth.
To be continued ....