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Dr. Babubhai Dholaria – A self-learned educationalist

Dr. Babubhai Dholaria

Dr. Babubhai Dholaria is one of the rare gems in the field of education. He is a self-learned, self-taught person who has never been to a school, and still he studied upto P.hd. From his life, a book is written which is self-authored by him as “RondhaVela“, whereas Government of India has produced a short documentary on his life. In addition to this documentary, more two short stories are filmed on him.

His life has been full of struggles that it started as a child labour. He had to wake up 3 in the early morning and start working. His book sheds more light on his struggling yet inspiring journey.

In this interview with SpeakBindas, he shares his views on proper education system, present education and an exclusive message for the students.

Videos of Interview

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Excerpt of Interview

Q.: According to you, what is the right education system?

A right education system is the one which brings all-round development of human being. Only development of skills is not a right education, rather it’s a part of it. This all-round development consists of physical development, mental development, social development and spiritual development.

In addition to satisfying or fulfilling own desires and goals, true education teaches to help others – neighbours, family and nation.

The bottomline is that, true education should act as a base for all-round development of human being.

Q.: Having read your autobiography “Rondhavela” in Gujarati, I know of your struggling life. You are a self-learned person who inspite living a very struggling life became literate. I am indeed curious to know that what you have gained from education?

I used to be a labour in farms in my earlier life. Surrounding was such that, everybody was interested in working hard, eating and sleeping. There was no else motive in their life. But when I self-learned to read and write and came across Helan Kelar’s story, I was indeed amazed knowing that if such a deaf, dumb and blind girl could learn things, why can’t I who has all his senses working? Her story evoked a reading passion inside me. And then after I read Hindu scriptures and many other books that increased my knowledge.

As my literacy was being increased, I started feeling that I’m being more and more wise. Education also taught me that, in addition to being wise, one should apply the learned lessons in practical life too.

Education also taught me that one should not limit his efforts from the betterment of ownself only, but should expand it further for the betterment of entire humankind. This is required to balance the society. These days, we observe the imbalance in our society that those who are rich have more than they need, and others suffer for the basic needs of life.

Wealth of knowledge is such a wealth that it doesn’t get over if you share it with others, rather it gets increasing. Education taught me this. Whatever I had read, I used to share with my colleagues and students. It was a great level of satisfaction helping others with what I have read and learnt.

In conversation with Dr. Dholaria

Q.: When it comes to education system, many a masters have written and taught about it. You serve the field of education for more than 50 years. Having such a huge span spent in the educational field, according to you which education system is really effective?

I was totally an illiterate person. I have never been to a school. I learned subjects myself only. So my education system was based on trial and error. I didn’t receive a readymade education because I could never attend a school. In schools, a teacher studies few books to deliver a lecture on one subject and students get the direct benefit of his reading. Where as in my case, I had to read everything myself only.

Many masters from West and East has given very important information on proper education system including definition of education too. But among all, I am highly impressed with M. K. Gandhi – Gandhiji’s thoughts on education system. Gandhiji has said that the proper education system is the one which brings the best out of human’s body, mind and soul. Umashankar Joshi, the well known Gujarati writer, expressed this definition in his words saying “I have been blessed with three pillars – Heart, Head and Hand, and I need no more..

This is known as 3H education system, i.e. Heart, Head and Hand. Everything is included in this system. Missing any of these can lead to an unfinished education. In the present education system, one gets education of Head and Hand but Heart. Heart is known for the sensation, which the present education system fails to provide. We can earn the materialistic wealth with the education of Head and Hand. We are observing this development too that few portion of the society is being very wealthy.

Those who utilize the education of Hand only, are labouring. Those utilizing the education of Head only, are losers as they are busy in thinking only without action. But those who are utilizing the education system of Head and Hand together are materially successful today. But because they are not utilizing the education system of Heart, they fail to help others. A person is not a true human if he doesn’t help others.

Q.: You have lived your life with education only. Over the last many years, you have been creatively engaged in this activity. Even after getting retired, you are rendering your experience with many educational institutions; one of them is ‘Gujarat Vidyapith’ too. So based on your all experience, what collective message you would like to share with the students?

In today’s era, students are getting many options to mould their career in. It may be Science stream or technology stream. Apart from these highly rushed streams, there are many other options such as management, whose students are the highest paid these days. Hence, if you fail to study further in science stream, do not get low hearted. Take any other stream such as management, commercial communication etc. Potential is everywhere.

In addition to getting the proper education, one must keep few basic things in mind. For example, students must be very careful regarding their physical health. Instead of using auto-rickshaws to reach to school, you can have a bicycle which can provide you basic exercise of cycling for 4 to 5 kilometers. I mean, you should start cycling before the doctor advises to do it!

I agree that the present education system involves long syllabus and students have to complete them in short durations. Hence, they can hardly find time for other activities. But still I would emphasize on finding some time for quality reading of non-syllabus books. Whenever you get free time, go and read in the nearby library. Because the present education enhances your skills and not your character.

Apart from that, you should also be consciously observing yourself that, in addition to developing yourself, how much support you are rendering to others too. Good reading will teach you good manners.

You should also catch the opportunities to listen to some inspirational people. Because in the blind-run for money, there is no guarantee of happiness.


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

6 thoughts on “Dr. Babubhai Dholaria – A self-learned educationalist

  1. Previous comment:

    Bharat Mehta April 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Very interesting interview.

    ઢોલરીયા સાહેબના વિચારો ખુબજ અસરકારક છે.

  2. Atul Patel says:


    Dholaria Saheb has impanted the same thoughts in me. I went to him for tuition in 6tha and 7th grade. I ow a lot to Dholariya Saheb and he is my True Guru.

    If someone has Dholaria Saheb’s contact information, plese let me have it. Last I had heard after leaving India in late 1980s, he was with Saurashtra Univesity’s NSS effort.

    Plesa eprovide his contact information.


    1. Dear Atulbhai,

      I have sent you his number via email. Please do check it.

  3. jashvant says:

    send me contact no
    address of
    drp babubhai dholariya

  4. DR. MAGANLAL S. MOLIA says:

    Very nice interwar Dr. Babubhai Dholariya.
    Department of education
    Saurashtra University
    Rajkot 360 005
    Guj. India

    1. Thank you Dr. Maganlal S. Molia

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