Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born to a Patidar gurjar farmer family of Gujarat. His native place was Karamsad. His date of birth was never officially recorded – Patel entered 31 October as his date of birth on his matriculation examination papers. They lived in the village of Karamsad, Bombay Presidency, where Jhaverbhai owned a homestead. Somabhai, Narsibhai and Vithalbhai Patel (also a future political leader) were his elder brothers. He had a younger brother, Kashibhai, and a sister, Dahiba. As a boy, Patel helped his father in the fields. When he was eighteen years old, Patel’s marriage was arranged with Jhaverba, a girl of twelve or thirteen years old from a nearby village. According to custom, the young bride would continue to live with her parents until her husband started earning and could establish their household. (Buy Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Book Online At Kitabay Online Store).
Patel travelled to attend schools in Nadiad, Petlad, and Borsad, living self-sufficiently with other boys. He reputedly cultivated a stoic character. A popular anecdote recounts that he lanced his own painful boil without hesitation, even as the barber charged with doing it trembled. When Patel passed his matriculation at the relatively late age of 22, he was generally regarded by his elders as an unambitious man destined for a commonplace job. Patel himself, though, harboured a plan to study to become a lawyer, work and save funds, travel to England, and become a barrister. Patel spent years away from his family, studying on his own with books borrowed from other lawyers, passing his examinations within two years. Fetching his wife Jhaverba from his parents’ home, Patel set up his household in Godhra and was called to the bar. During the many years it took him to save money, Patel – now an advocate – earned a reputation as a fierce and skilled lawyer. The couple had a daughter, Maniben, in 1904 and a son, Dahyabhai, in 1906. Patel also cared for a friend suffering from the Bubonic plague when it swept across Gujarat. When Patel himself came down with the disease, he immediately sent his family to safety, left his home, and moved into an isolated house in Nadiad (by other accounts, Patel spent this time in a dilapidated temple); there, he recovered slowly.
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