Surat: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or at 80,” said American industrialist and business magnate Henry Ford who founded the Ford Motor Company. This was a life lesson that many Surti entrepreneurs adapted to after the pandemic applied breaks on their routine work — these workaholics put their minds to test.
So, be it the septuagenarian realtor or the businessman, or a 52-year-old co-operative bank director and a 40-year-old production engineer — all took an educational sabbatical — a pause to rest, reflect, and upgrade skills and interests in diverse fields.
Velji Sheta, 62, a civil engineer and a successful realtor in diamond city recently appeared for first year exam in MA political science.
“I hope to get good marks. I like studying political trends and I have also developed interest in political science which is largely focused on history,” Sheta, former Gujarat president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI) told TOI. Sixty-year-old businessman Kanji Bhalala, president of Saurashtra Patel Samaj has completed first year studies in MA economics, a second post-graduation (PG) which is he pursuing 40 years after he finished his first PG.
“I like gathering knowledge. It helps to understand the changing world. I study to improve my understanding and knowledge,” Bhalala, a law graduate, who had also studied journalism when he was young, said.
Dipak Lukhi, 40, a real-estate developer, picked up books 16 years after completing production engineering. “I was interested in studying political science. There will not be any better time than the current one when I can focus on studies,” said Lukhi, who recently completed first year in MA political science.
Kanti Marakana, a 52-year-old tax consultant appeared in LLM final year exam as well as first year exam of MA economics on the same day. “I did LLM from Sardar Patel University and MA from Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU). I am now planning to do a PhD in banking,” said Marakana, director of Varachha Cooperative Bank.
Intellectual property rights consultant Paresh Lathiya completed first year of MA political science at the age of 45. A science graduate, Lathiya plans to even pursue a PhD over two decades after he discontinued his studies in 1999.
“Earlier, there were limited resources for people who wanted to pursue their higher studies. But now there are many opportunities for those who want to upgrade themselves. People should try to follow these individuals and we are ready to support such students,” VNSGU vice-chancellor K N Chavda said.