CHENNAI: For the past two years, S Archana had made preparing for NEET her only activity. Day and night, she toiled for a medical seat. Poverty and the lack of resources for a private coaching and digital learning did not slow her down.
On Wednesday, Archana’s dream came true, when she received her allotment letter from none other than the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. For this time around, Archana’s efforts received the recognition it deserved, thanks to the 7.5 per cent quota that the Tamil Nadu government put in place for government school students in admissions to medical courses.
Her father Sakthivel, who earns a living working as a load-man and fruit seller in Nagaiah Kottai, Dindigul, still cannot believe that this is happening.“I never thought I could afford good education for my daughter,” he says. “We were a family that struggled to make ends meet. Today, I am sure that our daughter will lift us up from this misery,” he says with tears of joy rolling down his cheeks. A total of 18 students who were allotted seats under the new 7.5 per cent quota on Wednesday had taken the test multiple times.
“Last year, Archana too attempted NEET, but she could not make it. It happened this year only due to the quota,” says her mother Revathi, a MNREGA worker. ‘worth all the hardship’:
Students shed tears of joy as they thank the CM
IT was on Monday night that Archana received a message about the counselling to be held in Chennai. The family quickly packed their bags and left from Dindigul for the capital city. They got here on Tuesday evening, but did not have enough money on them to afford a lodging. The family of three spent an entire wet monsoon night sitting outside the Nehru stadium.
“We used the public toilets around here to freshen ourselves up before the event. But, all that hardship is totally worth it, knowing that my child is going to become a doctor,” says Revathi. Archana has been granted a seat in Tiruchy government medical college.
Many first time NEET attempters too were happy about the allotment and felt lucky about not having to repeat the exam, thanks to the quota. RS Meghaa, from Tiruchengode in Namakkal, had scored 366 marks in NEET, and bagged a seat in the Coimbatore Government Medical College. She broke down as she thanked the CM. Her father, R Sadasivam, who is a TV mechanic, too had no words t o express their gratitude.
Another student, S Harikrishna, a first attempter who hails from Poovalur in Tiruchy said, he was benefitted by the freebies the government provided. “I secured 423 marks in NEET. The free laptop, cycle, books and also free coaching helped me secure it,” said Harikrishna, who was allotted the Stanley Madras Medical College in Chennai. He had scored 515 in class 12 and had taken the government’s free online NEET course.