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Random Answer Leads To Career Choice For Dutt

As a sixth former at Labasa Sangam College, Hishal Dutt fondly recalls how he had to come up quickly with an answer to his Basic-Technology teacher’s question – what would
26 Apr 2018 10:00
Random Answer Leads To Career Choice For Dutt
Fulton Hogan Hiways road inspector Hishal Datt. Photo: Fiji Roads Authority

As a sixth former at Labasa Sangam College, Hishal Dutt fondly recalls how he had to come up quickly with an answer to his Basic-Technology teacher’s question – what would you like to do after leaving school?

Out of ideas and with his turn to answer fast approaching, a quick glance out his classroom to the nearby dusty roads, gave him the answer he was desperately looking for.

“I would like to become a road engineer, sir,” was Dutt’s response.

Barely five years later, that quick and convenient answer would become his true calling after the Labasa lad opted to pursue civil engineering, later joining Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) after graduating.

At 23 years old, Mr Dutt is today one of the country’s youngest road inspectors, based out of FHH’s Labasa depot.

“I am not the kind of person who likes sitting behind a desk every day. I prefer to be out in the field, checking on roads and recommending to higher authorities what needs to be done to improve them,” Mr Dutt said.

Originally from the cane farming community of Vunivau on the outskirts of Labasa, he said it was always satisfying to see how road improvements had an impact on ordinary lives.

“When students have to walk many kilometres on dusty roads just to catch public transport, upgrading those roads can make a big difference,” he said.

“For many living in urban areas, simple things like changing a damaged culvert may not mean much, but for rural residents that could mean a flooded crossing, which could result in students not being able to travel to school.”

He said being vigilant and urgently addressing such issues motivated him daily.

Armed with a tablet computer where he records his daily data, Mr Dutt can be frequently spotted on roads around Labasa inspecting them and ensuring road works complied with regulations.

Often dealing with subcontractors twice his age or even more, Mr Dutt said he had absorbed a lot of field experience, mixed with his youthful energy that he brought to the job.

“My advice to young people is don’t be intimidated. Experience comes with patience and passion. The rest is in your hands,” he adds.

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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