Updated: November 2, 2021 8:56:46 pm
Thanks to an Odisha-based charitable body all its 18 students from deprived sections of the society have cracked NEET-UG 2021, the all-India pre-medical entrance test. Among those who made it to the NEET list this time with the help of the charitable body are sons of a landless farmer, a milk vendor, a rickshaw puller and the daughter of a poor weaver.
The students were coached by Zindagi Foundation, an NGO of academician Ajay Bahadur Singh, who had missed out on medical education due to his poor economic background.
Under the programme talented underprivileged students are selected from across Odisha through a state-wide screening test, provide free food, lodging and coaching to help them crack NEET and become doctors.
“The challenge was bigger this time as due to the COVID pandemic it was difficult to hold physical classes most of the time. But we did not let the students’ spirit sag. We arranged smart phones for those who could not borrow them from friends or relatives and imparted online classes by our expert teachers,” Singh told PTI.
A statement issued by the foundation, which began functioning in 2017, said all its 18 students have cleared National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (undergraduate) this year as in 2018. Fourteen of its students had made it in 2019 and all 19 in 2020.
Shivani Mehar, the daughter of a poor weaver who scored 577 marks and cleared NEET, said “I could not have dreamt of becoming a doctor given the poor economic condition of my parents. It’s due to Ajay Sir I have got this opportunity to do something for the society.”
Murshid Khan, the son of a rickshaw puller who scored 610 and Subhas Chandra Bahera, the son of a milk seller who got 595, echoed her.
“I help the students without taking any donation from any individual or organisation though many have offered,” said Singh, who hails from Deogarh in Jharkhand.
“I could not become a doctor but when I see these kids achieve their dreams, I feel I have achieved mine. I could never accept that a brilliant child cannot achieve his or her dream only because of financial constraints. I will keep the project going to ensure that no children miss their dreams due to lack of resources,” he said.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had hosted the successful students of the foundation at his residence in 2019.
The founder of ‘Super 30′ Anand Kumar, on whose life the Bollywood flick “Super 30’ was based, has visited Zindagi foundation several times to inspire the aspiring students. Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan, who performed the role of Anand Kumar in the biopic has also showered lavish praise on Singh’s project.
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