In an age in which parents strive to provide all material comforts to their children and insulate them from the harsh realities of the world, a Gujarati billionaire decided to give his son a taste of the world outside his cocoon of luxuries, according to news reports.
Dravya Dholakia, an MBA student studying in the US, was on holiday in India when his father, a diamond merchant and the proprietor of a Rs 6,000-crore company with operations in 71 countries, dared him to earn his daily bread on his own without using his father's identity. Dravya took the challenge head-on and reached Kochi on June 21 with three pairs of clothes and Rs 7,000 that was to be used only in case of an emergency.
His father, Savji Dholakia was of the belief that no university in the world will be able to teach his son tough experiences in real life. He wanted his son to know how the millions of poor people in the country struggled to make their ends meet.
"I gave him three conditions: I told my son that he needs to work to earn his money and he couldn't work at a place for more than a week; that he can't use his father's identity nor use the mobile phone nor Rs 7,000 taken from home for a month. I wanted him to understand life and how the poor struggle to get a job and money. No university can teach you these life skills except experience," Dholakia, proprietor of Hare Krishna Diamond exports, told TOI.
"He decided to come to Kochi as he didn't know Malayalam and Hindi is not commonly spoken there," said Dholakia.
For the initial few days Dravya, who posed as a class XII student of a poor family from Gujarat, went without work as he was rejected by more than five dozen employers.
After days of struggle, Dravya finally got his first job in a bakery in Cheranelloor. After that he worked at several places including a footwear shop, a call centre and the McDonald's outlet in Kochi, TOI reported.
"I never worried about money and here I was struggling to get a meal worth Rs 40. I needed another Rs 250 per day to stay in a lodge," he told TOI, after returning home.