Born and brought up in a well-to-do family, Praful Patel nevertheless represents a perfect mix of power and humility, all thanks to the teachings of his father, the late Manoharbhai Patel, who himself came from a very humble beginning. His father, Manoharbhai Patel could not pursue his education as he came from a very poor family and left his native Gujarat for Central India in search of employment. From loading and unloading trucks to being a cycle salesman for home made products, he grew into a successful businessman and industrialist primarily with his beedi business which he founded in Gondia. Being himself literate only upto class IV, his first mission in life was education and thus he always remained a philanthropist and social activist at heart. And in these roles, the able support and the driving force behind his success, was his wife Shantaben. Imbibing high and humanist values from these two important people of his life, Praful Patel, who is one of the most influential Cabinet Ministers of India, has not lost the ability of bonding with the common masses– it is not an uncommon sight to see the dynamic Patel deal with the farmers from his home districts of Bhandara and Gondia with effortless ease.
Being the son of a leader himself, Patel took to politics at a young age and was first elected as President of – Municipal Council of Gondia at a young age of 28 and at 33, was elected to the Lok Sabha for the very first time. After three consecutive victories to the Lok Sabha, Patel was elected to the the Rajya Sabha in 2000 and 2006. He was again elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 for the fourth time. He was one of the youngest faces in the Indian cabinet.
Determined to bring about a positive change with hard work and determination, Patel shook the entire aviation set up of the country from its slumber and brought about a ‘never seen before’ transformation in the Indian Civil Aviation sector. However, even as he was busy transforming Indian skies, he never once let the people of Bhandara and Gondia feel neglected. Be it trains passing through the region, Aviation Hubs in Nagpur and Gondia, Major Irrigation Projects, Power and Industrial Projects or a wide array of infrastructure related developments, Patel strived to bring the best to people of his region and succeeded with flying colours.
Never has modern India seen such dedication and vision in a leader’s mind. In a country grappling for alliances and political gains, Praful Patel stands out amongst them as a leader responsible for changing the face of 21st century India. Even as he marches on to newer achievements, Praful Patel remains firmly rooted to the ideals instilled in him by Manoharbhai. Patel belongs to the generation of those Indian politicians, who can bring about change in the literal sense by leading the nation towards a brighter future and binding society together, making it a part of that future, irrespective of caste, creed, color or religion. He is perhaps amongst the few Indian politicians, who can be credited for introducing the word ‘professionalism’ to Indian politics.