Rajasthan labourer’s son makes it to medical school on a loan and a prayer

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Hemant Kumar Swami always wanted to become a doctor, and his father did not want to deny him his dream. So, two years ago, 58-year-old Tarachand Swami took a loan from the village sarpanch to send the youngster to Kota for medical coaching. It was a wise investment. Hemant cleared the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) this year to bag a seat at a government medical college in Jaipur, becoming the first student from his village – Pansrotiya in Tong district – to study medicine.

Theirs is a poor family. Tarachand works as a daily wage labourer on National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme projects whenever they come up, and takes up agricultural duties during lean periods. His wife, 56-year-old Manraj Devi, also performs menial tasks for a living. Swami had taken a cue from Hemant’s impressive performance in school to take the loan for his coaching. The youngster did not disappoint. He studied at the Allen Career Institute for two years, finally bagging the overall 16,742 rank – and 270 in the scheduled class category – in NEET.

Hemant’s MBBS classes at the RUHS College of Medical Sciences began on August 1. Tarachand said his son had studied at a village school until Class 8, after which he moved to the Kothinatmam government school. He scored 82.33% in Class 10 and 81.20% in Class 12. Hemant was sent to Kota to prepare for NEET on his teachers’ suggestion. Although he did not clear the examination in his first attempt last year, his father encouraged him to try again.

“I borrowed more money to keep him in Kota for another year. I was sure that he will make it,” said Tarachand. Allen allowed Hemant a fee concession after seeing his performance and passion. “We promote such talent to make sure that lack of money doesn’t destroy their dreams,” said Allen director Naveen Maheshwari. “Hemant’s success reflects the willingness of underprivileged people to enter IITs and medical colleges. We will continue to support such talent.”

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