48-yr-old labourer writes to Prez seeking medical seat after failing to get admission in pvt college
Kolkata: After failing to secure admission in a private medical college for the fourth consecutive time this year due to lack of funds despite clearing the national level entrance NEET, 2017, with around 62 percent marks, a 48-year-old daily wage labourer from a distant village in Nadia wrote to the President of India seeking a medical seat. His main aim, he says, would be to treat patients in his village where there is no registered medical practitioners; only quacks, sorcerers and exorcists.
What Pradip Halder, a resident of bordering areas of Pratappur village under Krishnaganj police station in Nadia has done at the age of 48 is not only a challenge for any medical aspirant but his indomitable spirit makes him stand out to be an inspiration amongst others. Whether he will be able to get recognition in the form of a medical degree or not is a different issue, what he had aimed for nearly two decades, is now up to the consideration of President Ram Nath Kovind. Halder has appeared in the medical entrance examination for 17 times, be it the state medical entrance examination or the national one like NEET. The Supreme Court's judgment had also gone in his favour as it had removed the upward age limit of a candidate to become a doctor. This paved his way to appear in the NEET 2017 and he came out with flying colours.
In his letter to the President, Halder said he has passed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2017, undergraduate level for medical admission for 2017-18 academic session in Scheduled Caste category with 61.39 percentage marks.
"With the marks what I have secured, a candidate is eligible to find a place in the undergraduate medical admission. But, I am not getting a seat in the private medical colleges despite a rank as my poverty has become a barrier to my goal," Halder mentions in the letter. Halder has five members in his family — his wife, three children and ailing mother — who are all dependent on him. He has a monthly income of around Rs 1000, as he mentioned in his letter. He has made a prevent appeal to President Kovind urging him to provide him a medical seat as a President's nominee as he wants to treat patients in his village which lacks a registered medical practitioner. The trained doctors are available at a primary health centre situated more than 20 km away from his village. Hence, the villagers have to depend on quacks, exorcists and sorcerers who are in rampant practice there. He had appeared in Madhyamik examination in 1986 from Khalboalia High School and secured 59.2 percent marks. Despite being a topper in school, he had failed to pursue higher secondary immediately after completing Madhyamik due to severe financial constraints. He again resumed studies in 1998 and passed the Higher Secondary examination from National Open Schooling in 2000. While talking to Millennium Post over telephone, Halder owed his success to a city-based doctor and former teacher of SSKM, Dr AK Maity who assisted him immensely to help him secure a spot in the national level medical entrance examination.