This amazing boy was born on the 31st
of October 1875. (This is the date generally accepted.) The elders were
filled with pride and joy at the fearlessness of the little boy; the younger
ones loved and admired him. No companion of his ever disobeyed him. By
nature he rebelled against injustice. He showed a genuine interest in the
welfare of his companions, constantly Enquirer about their needs and problems
helped them as best he could, and promoted friendship and unity.
Vallabhbhai's early education was in
Karamsad. Then he joined a school in Petlad. After two years he joined
a high school in a town called Nadiad. A teacher of this school used to
sell the books,which the pupils needed. He used to force all the pupils
to buy books only from him. If any boy bought books from others, the teacher
used to tease him.Vallabhbhai thought that this was wrong. He spoke to
his companions, and saw to it that not a single pupil attended the classes.
For a whole week the school could not work. The teacher had to correct
When he was in Petlad he used to cook
for himself. Every week he used to carry provisions from home, walking
the entire distance. He could have gone by train, but he did not have the
money to buy a ticket.
During his school days, one day a teacher
made a mistake in working a sum. Vallabh- bhai pointed out the error. The
teacher was very angry and said, "All right, you be the teacher." The boy
replied, "Very well, sir." He worked the sum correctly, and sat down in
the teacher's chair!
Vallabhbhai first chose Sanskrit. Then
he changed to Gujarati. Sanskrit was dearer to the teacher who taught Gujarati
than his own subject. When Vallabhbhai entered his class, the teacher wanted
to taunt him, and said, "Welcome, great man!" Poor man, he did not know
that the boy would one day become a very great man.
He asked the boy, in anger, "Why did
you give up Sanskrit and choose Gujarati?"
Vallabhbhai answered, "If every one
chooses Sanskrit, you will have no work."
The teacher was in a rage. He complained
to the headmaster. Vallabhbhai narrated to the headmaster all that had
happened. The headmaster said, "I have not seen such a bold pupil." This
made the teacher even more bitter. Vallabhbhai, too, did not wish to remain
in that school. He went back. He studied at home and passed the examination.