Pune: Three students from Pune, who did not have a CBSE background and could not afford the fees of top coaching institutes, have brought laurels to their families by clearing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in their second attempt.
Taking a gap of one year to concentrate on NEET paid off for these medical aspirants. The three - Prasad Kamble, Akshay Hirve and Santosh Chate - worked their way up the ladder with the help of ‘Lift for Upliftment’, a initiative run by students from BJ Medical College and College of Engineering Pune (CoEP).
Following a dream
Kamble, who had taken admission in College of Engineering in Satara, dropped out after a month to pursue his dream to be a medical student. Since Kamble’s relatives did not know he had dropped out, he would travel from Chakan to BJ Medical College for his coaching class with his face hidden under a scarf.
“My father was a painter and met with an accident. He has been at home for the past 18 years now. My mother is a sweeper in Chakan and I have three sisters at home . All my relatives suggested that I should take up any common subject in my higher education and look for a job to support my family. But I did not want to study anything other than medicine,” said Kamble, who scored 386 marks out of 720 in NEET-UG 2017, the results of which were declared on Friday.
Hirve, who scored 478, said it was a tough decision to skip a year. “My mother had opposed it considering our economic condition. The teachers at Lift for Upliftment class and my sister convinced my mother that I had the potential to score well in the exam. This made me strong and adamant to stay by the decision,” said Hirve. His mother is a contract-based worker at Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and is the only earner at home, as his father died when Hirve was 12. He stays in a slum in Swargate.
Making up for time
Santosh Chate, a farmer’s son, also excelled in the NEET, securing 534 in his second attempt. Chate’s main hurdle was to cope up with the gap year, as he lost touch with Std XI syllabus. “I fared average in the Common Entrance Test (CET) last year. I secured 164 marks with only three months of studying. This boosted my confidence,” he said. He joined Lift for Upliftment in November.