JALANDHAR: It was an emotional homecoming for leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul to his childhood schools and his birthplace in the city here.
Overwhelmed with nostalgia, Lord Paul, a prominent peer in Britain, visited his alma maters Doaba Primary School and Doaba Secondary School and thanked his parents for having admitted him into these institutions which shaped his life ahead.
“I feel marvelous. It is a wonderful and a memorable moment for me. I am feeling highly emotional. And, I believe you students are very lucky to study here,” Lord Paul said on Saturday.
During his close to two hours visit, in which he also took his family to his house where he was born, now converted to a school too, Lord Paul was visibly moved to “return to his roots” and termed the moment as “priceless”.
Accompanied by his family, the 83-year-old business magnate and philanthropist said he brought his children and grandchildren along to “show them their roots”.
Talking to PTI on the sidelines he said, “I am getting old and I don’t know when would I be able to come here next. I don’t know if I would be able to come here next at all. Therefore I wanted my children and especially my grandchildren to show them their roots, so that they can understand where they come from.”
“I showed them the schools I went to as a child and yesterday I also showed them the college I had attended,” he said.
The noted industrialist, accompanied by his son Angad, daughter Anjali, daughter-in-law Michelle and three grandchildren took a tour of the three places and offered floral tributes on the statues of his parents.
During his time spent at his alma maters, Lord Paul visited the classrooms, interacted with students, got pictures taken with them and and also introduced his grandchildren to them.
Talking about Indian elections, Lord Paul, the founder chairman of UK-based Caparo Group, asked the youth to exercise their franchise.
“It doesn’t matter which party you vote for. One must come out and just vote because today there is so much potential and lack of opportunity. So, vote for those in whom you really trust,” he said.
The veteran industrialist earlier also planted a sapling at his primary school.
Lord Paul, yesterday also attended a convocation at the Doaba College here and relived his days there as a student between 1947 and 1949.
Stepping into the college, he reminisced his student days and how the teachers at the prestigious institute shaped his mind and inspired him to become successful in life.
“I will always be grateful to the dedicated teachers who guided and inspired me to do my best while I was here and who made me look to the future. Let me pay tribute to all those teachers and convey my heartfelt thanks,” he said in his brief but inspiring convocation speech.