A ragpicker’s son from Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district has cleared the AIIMS entrance test held in May end.
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 told The Hindu over telephone.
On why he wanted to study medicine, Asharam 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.”
Training in Pune
“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 said.