This is an example for other medical aspirants who are striving hard to realise their dreams. The medical fraternity in the city believes this man’s never-say-die attitude will inspire future medical aspirants to keep striving even after repeated failures.
Despite of securing a top rank in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) the 48-year-old, Pradip Haldar is not sure whether he will be able get an admission at the Central government owned institutions as the Central Board of Secondary Examinations (CBSE) conducting the examination has made it mandatory that the candidates must be below the age of 25 to secure an admission in government colleges.
The decision of the CBSE, however, stands doubtful as the Medical Council of India (MCI), the highest regulating body has not fixed any such upper age limit to get an admission in a government medical college in the country. As per the MCI norms, anybody above the age 17 years is eligible to study medical if he/she clears the entrance examination.
Haldar, a resident of Pratapur, an obscure village in the Digambarpur area of Nadia, ranked 51 in the national level examination under the reserve category. This is no less achievement for a middle aged man to pursue his studies and working hard to become a doctor in a remote village as he had to face many criticism and humiliation by the local people.
Father of three children, Haldar never gave up. Moreover, it had made him more determined and he continued his study for two decades to realise his long cherished dream which has come true for him through prolonged struggle in which a city based doctor; Dr AK Maity had trained him for the last one year. Haldar stayed at Dr Maity’s house in Kolkata for the last three months before examination.
Haldar’s father, late Bhajan Haldar, who used to earn a livelihood by farming, could not arrange funds to provide his son private tuition. The odds, however, could not dampen the spirit of the man who has been toiling to secure a rank for two decades. He has been at the receiving end of cruel jokes for his bid to crack the medical examination at an advanced age. Poverty stood between him and his dream.
He picked up cultivation on other’s land in his village. He never had any wish to become a doctor from his childhood. He wanted to become a doctor after he had seen villagers dying due to lack of infrastructure in the local health centre and wanted to do his bit to save lives.
Now, Haldar’s biggest worry is how to manage the fund to secure an admission in a private medical college, the fees of which is beyond his imagination. He earns a modest Rs 2,000-3,000 a month from cultivating land. As it is not enough to make ends meet he started giving tuitions in the village. It has become hard for him to bring up his three children and bear the expenses of their education.