Bhubaneswar: Twenty underprivileged Odisha students, backed by a non-governmental organization (NGO), have cracked the medical entrance examination NEET, whose results were announced on Wednesday.
The budding doctors are from families of daily labourers, landless farmers, weaver, book binder, painter and tiffin sellers. They were part of a free medical coaching programme run by an NGO, Zindagi Foundation, founded by academician Ajay Bahadur Singh, who himself faced hardships in his childhood.
The success of these students is no ordinary thing as most of these children do not even get two square meals every day.
Amrita Sahu, daughter of a daily wage labourer from Jajpur district of Odisha, has made her way to a reputed medical college by scoring 636 in NEET.
Due to his poor financial condition, Amrita said, her father could not arrange medical coaching for her. It was difficult to even maintain the family. In this situation, the Zindagi Foundation took full responsibility for her preparation for NEET, which yielded result today, she said.
Similarly, Sunaram Tudu, tribal son of Narayan Tudu from President Droupadi Murmu’s home district Mayurbhanj, has cleared the entrance test beating poverty. Sunaram has scored 479 in the NEET.
Sharing his story, he said, “There is no proper medical care facility in my native village Purunapani. Only a medicine store is there. After seeing local people suffering to get proper medical care, I had decided to become a doctor. Today my hard work has paid off.”
The story of Malay Kumar Pradhan of Dhenkanal is also similar. The son of a daily wage labourer, struggling to get food every day, he cracked the all India test. Medical coaching was like a dream when it was a challenge to get a square meal every day. But Malay never gave up chasing his goal. By scoring 634 in NEET, Malay has taken a major step towards becoming a doctor.
It is a matter of happiness that students get the fruits of years of hard work and tears come out automatically as the students are overwhelmed by this success in adverse situations, said Ajay Singh.
Ajay also wanted to become a doctor and was preparing for the medical entrance exam. But due to his father’s illness, Ajay had to leave his studies midway and he started earning money for his father’s treatment by selling tea and sherbet.
As many as 20 out of 21 students of the NGO have qualified in NEET 2022 and are on their way to becoming doctors. Starting from 2017-18, so far 90 students of the Zindagi Foundation have qualified for NEET, he said.
“All these students come from the poorest and most backward sections of the society, whose families are barely able to survive. We provide NEET coaching, study material, accommodation and all other facilities absolutely free of cost to these children,” said the founder.
“Once upon a time my life started with selling tea and sherbet. Today, when I am capable, I try that due to lack of money, the dream of becoming a doctor of a meritorious child should not remain incomplete as I had to leave studies midway. I see my success in the success of these students,” he added.
On completion of five years of its success in 2021-22, the NGO is now preparing to spread outside Odisha and children from other states will also be able to prepare for NEET under this foundation.