Bhubaneswar/Jodhpur, Dec. 21 Asharam Choudhary, a young resident of Datotar village in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh, who was once grazing goats to pay his school fees is now pursuing his first year MBBS at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Born in a very poor family, Asharam had experienced the harsh realities of life which gave him the strength to move forward and crack two major medical entrance exams – NEET and AIIMS – at the first go. He had secured 803rd rank in the OBC category and 2,763th rank overall in NEET and AIR 707 as overall ranking and AIR 141 in OBC category for the AIIMS entrance.
Alien to education, Asharam’s father sent him and his younger brother to school only for the free food. The two kids woke up everyday at 6 AM and walked five kilometres to reach the school. After returning they used to graze goats and in the evening when everyone slept after taking food, Asharam used to burn midnight oil to learn ABCD & 1234 by heart.
It was due to the effort of one of his teacher, he got admitted to a private school in Class 3. Though weak in studies in his initial days, Asharam’s family conidition and the fees which he paid from his own pocket motivated him to continue his education.
When in Class 5, Asharam started preparation for the Selection Test of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV). He saved the money earned from grazing goats to pay for his coaching fees and schooling. His efforts bore fruit and he got admission into JNV, Dewas which was the turning point in his life.
Though Asharam had decided to become a doctor, his life at JNV, the success he achieved at Olympiads, National Talent Search Examination, Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana and various other competitions boosted his self confidence.
Asharam’s high scores in Class 10 paved his way for appearing the Navodaya Dakshana Selection Test (NDST). Out of 3000 students only two cleared the test and Asharam was one among them. Coaching by Dakshana Foundation helped Asharam to prepare for his medical Entrance examinations.
During the holidays in JNV, Asharam used to sell vegetables and work with his parents in fields. However, he received his NEET results on June 4 and AIIMS results on June 18 which changed his life forever.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also lauded Asharam for the feat. His journey to AIIMS Jodhpur was sponsored by Dewas district collector Shrikant Pandey, who also assured that the State Government would bear the expenses of his medical education. His family, which was living for years together without electricity and toilet have finally been provided with electricity and gas connection and a toilet in their house.
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Asharam said he wants to become a Neuro Surgeon and return to his village which lacks basic medical facilities. Presently, there is only a Community Health Centre (CHC) located in a nearby village and the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) is located 35 kilometres away.
His brother, who is presently studying in Class XII at JNV, Dewas is preparing for Engineering and his sister, studying in Class IX in a government school, aims to be a doctor. Credit