Samaritan Doctors Coach Talented Underprivileged Medical Aspirants
B R Priyanka, a daughter of a textile showroom worker in Madurai could soon get MBBS admission in a government medical college in Tamil Nadu. She has cracked NEET, the mandatory entrance test for medical admission, scoring 414.
Priyanka is one of the five lucky underprivileged students from the government run Avvai School who have cracked NEET. They were handpicked and sponsored for coaching by the 2002 batch of doctors from the Madurai Medical College. The medical aspirant, now pursuing IT at Anna University in Chennai told tellmystory.in “I am so happy I was chosen for this. I was really bad in Chemistry but the coaching changed everything. I am just waiting for the counseling to begin”.
“It all began with an idea to help underprivilleged children in some way last year” that brought the group of 150 doctors together says Dr N Prithviraj, the face of the this initiative and a Consultant Surgical Gastroenterologist with Vadamalayan Hospital. That was also the time the Tamil Nadu Government announced 7.5% reservation for government school students in medical admission and the alumni group made it their mission to help aspirants in this less fortunate category become doctors.
Things fell in place. “Five students were chosen for sponsorship on the basis of their marks and teacher recommendation” says Dr Prithiviraj. Winways Prism Academy, a coaching centre was roped in after detailed study and the five students slogged with a single focus attending both their regular classes and NEET classes . “Going by last year’s results, at least three of the five should make it to MBBS this year” he added.
The parents of these children include a daily wager, driver and a weaver. Mr B P Ravi, Priyanka’s father said “I earn around eight to ten thousand rupees a month. I can’t afford private coaching. I am so happy my daughter has made use of the opportunity well”.
It cost 2.25 lakh rupees for the programme. The results have motivated the doctors to train 12 aspirants this academic year from four government schools. Emphasising its so important to groom children from less privileged backgrounds “Dr Prithiviraj explained “They know the hardship of everyday life and they would be happy to work at primary health centres in rural areas. They would be really service oriented. They would be good doctors for the community.”
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