SBS Hindi

Pravin earned his law degree aged 75, now he plans to help youth in need

SBS Hindi

Pravin Kumar getting his law degree

Pravin Gupta (R) at his graduation ceremony in March 2022 after completing a law degree from the University of New South Wales. Source: Supplied by Pravin Gupta


Published 21 April 2022 at 11:50am
By Natasha Kaul
Source: SBS

Pravin Gupta says he always wanted to study in Australia and, despite half a century between university stints, he ‘never stopped learning’.


Published 21 April 2022 at 11:50am
By Natasha Kaul
Source: SBS


Mr Gupta first visited Australia in 2008 to see his daughter who was then living in Sydney.  


He also made it a priority to check out what the local universities had to offer. 


A mechanical engineering alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta in India, Mr Gupta had wanted to study abroad since he was a young boy.  


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And now, at 75 years old, the grandfather of three has just completed a law degree from the University of New South Wales (UNSW).   



Highlights:

  • Pravin Gupta, 75, graduated with a Juris Doctor from the University of NSW in 2021
  • 'I want to help youth in need of guidance,' says Mr Gupta
  • Mr Gupta, an IIT-Kanpur and IIM-Calcutta alumnus, previously worked as a Harvey Norman floor manager

"I was amazed to see these universities with top-class facilities. I really liked the atmosphere on offer,” Mr Gupta tells SBS Hindi of his first trip to Australia.

In 2010, Mr Gupta decided to migrate down under after meeting his second wife, Wendy, an Australian, through a dating website.

During his initial days in Australia, Mr Gupta volunteered at a St Vincent de Paul Society store to keep himself busy. This was where he started on a new journey to help those in need.

"For example, many of the people I met had no or very little idea how to submit their documents to the court so I started to help them in filling out the complex paperwork.

"I soon realised that having a law degree would make a huge difference to the service I was offering," he says.

Mr P
Mr Pravin Kumar, 75, is working as an intern with Youth Law Australia in Sydney. Source: Supplied by Pravin Gupta


Mr Gupta explains that he decided to pursue a law degree in 2018 and attended his graduation ceremony in March 2022.

Currently he is interning with Youth Law Australia, a community legal service which helps young people find legal solutions to their problems. 

"Once I get my license to practice law, I will be able to help the community, especially youth, in a most effective way," Mr Gupta says.

He was also motivated to get over that finish line by a desire to make his wife proud.

Mr Pravin Gupta with his wife Wendy
Mr Pravin Gupta with his wife Wendy. Source: Supplied by Pravin Gupta


"In the middle of my course I lost my wife and I was going through a very hard time. I almost decided to give up my course, but then finishing this degree was also a dream of hers so I kept going," he adds.

I guess I just haven't stopped learning
However, Mr Gupta admits it wasn't always easy keeping up in the classroom.

"Attending university after almost 50 years, I found I was not able to retain lessons like before. I went and consulted a doctor about my memory power as I was worried whether I would be able to finish the course," he says.

Mr Gupta was surprised when the doctor told him what he was experiencing was perfectly normal, and that the key to keeping an aging brain healthy was to learn new things.



But Mr Gupta didn't want to just complete his degree, he wanted to pass with flying colours.

"I graduated among the top 20 in the batch and had a few good scores in some subjects," Mr Gupta, who also writes Hindi poems, claims.

"I used to study 10 hours a day and had to give up my personal life during the course. It was a lot of hard work for me but it was worth it," he says.



Recalling his initial struggles as a new migrant, Mr Gupta says, “When I came here I wanted to join the workforce as I had to contribute to the house expenditure. I applied at several places but was rejected many times."

“Even though I was highly qualified I decided to work at a Harvey Norman store as a salesperson," Mr Gupta says.

A year later he moved on to open his own company offering architectural drafting services.

Mr Gupta claims that his company has worked on several prestigious projects across the country including Perth's Children Hospital and a multi-story office complex in Sydney's CBD.

In his message to others, he says, “You're never too old to dream and achieve goals”.

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