Ragpicker’s son clears AIIMS entrance exam in first attempt

Today (July 23, 2018), Asharam Choudhary attended his first MBBS class at AIIMS, Jodhpur. This son of a ragpicker from Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district has cleared the AIIMS entrance test held in May end.

Though the result of AIIMS-MBBS entrance examination, 2018 was declared on June 18, 2018, his achievement came to be known only a couple of days back only after he got a letter from AIIMS, Delhi regarding his admission to AIIMS, Jodhpur based on the counselling held on June 28 and 29 and result declared on July 2.

Asharam Choudhary, 20, a resident of Vijayganj Mandi, a hamlet located nearly 40 km from the district headquarters, has secured 707th all-India rank and 141st rank in the OBC category. He also cleared the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test and secured 2,763rd all-India rank and 803rd rank in OBC category.

The home of Asharam’s parents, Ranjit and Mamta Choudhary, in Vijayganj Mandi speaks for the life the family of four has been living for the past several years.

The entrance of the shack is made with hay collected from agricultural fields, and its roof is covered with clay tiles and plastic sheets, which barely keep rainwater from trickling in and are forever at risk of getting blown away by strong winds.

“There are some gaps in the roof from where sun rays and rain drops easily seeps into our house. The adversities have never deterred me from continuing my studies. This was my first attempt [in AIIMS entrance test] and my teachers at Navodaya Vidyalaya, especially Amit sir [his Biology teacher], guided me in clearing the exam,” Asharam was quoted as saying in a Hindu report.

On why he wanted to study medicine, Asharam reportedly said: “I decided to become a doctor by chance. When I was studying in Class V, my father took me to a ‘jhola chaap’ (quack) doctor. I saw him prescribing a few medicines and earning ₹50 in few minutes. The incident left a deep impression on me. I compared his work with the labour of my father, who collected discarded plastic bottles, iron pieces, especially near the railway crossings, and earned less than ₹50 in an entire day.”

“But the main reason behind my success is the guidance and training I received at the Dakshana Foundation, Pune [a coaching centre which trains students from impoverished families from rural India for engineering and medical entrance tests]. Because of my first rank in the entrance examination of Dakshana Foundation, and my poor financial background, they extended support to me,” he added.

Asharam studied in a government school up to class 3. Later, with a teacher’s support he completed his primary education in a private school. He cracked Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (JNVST) and got admission to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya for studies from class 6. He was selected by Dakshna organisation in Pune to prepare for medical entrance examination. He did his secondary education from Pune.

“I don’t know how to express my happiness. Financial condition of my family further worsened after my father suffered from paralysis. I got support from my teachers and others. I wish to serve the masses after becoming a doctor. I have seen how the private hospital charges big amount even for insignificant disease and the poor cannot afford it,” Asharam reportedly said.

His father Ranjeet Chaudhary was quoted as saying, “I am proud of my son’s achievement. I don’t own any land and picks plastic bags and empty glass bottles which I sell to the local scrap dealer. Sometimes I work in agriculture field also. There is no fixed income. Sometimes, we have to go even hungry.”

“I don’t have a good financial condition to bear the expenditure on his studies. Asharam could pursue his studies with help of many people. I still need help from people to deposit his fees and bear other expenses on his career. Otherwise, I fear he can’t continue his studies,” Ranjeet added.

A Hindustan Times report quoted Durga Shankar, a neighbour of Asharam, as saying, “Ashram has been brilliant in his studies. That’s why I helped him in whatsoever degree I could. I know he will make Vijayaganj Mandi a known place with his achievements.

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