TIRUCHY: The entire Merpanaikkadu village was in celebration mode on Friday on hearing the news of Shamsiya Afrin's admission to Stanley Medical College in Chennai. Shamsiya will be the first doctor from this village in Aranthangi. The happiest was her father Abdul Muthalif.
Shamsiya, like her father, is physically challenged. Muthalif had a polio attack at a young age which made him unable to walk.
Says an elated Shamsiya, "I used to be in and out of hospitals for few years. At that time, so many people whom I didn't even know helped me. Seeing them, I then decided that I would become a doctor and help others, just like I was helped. I worked towards that goal every single day of my life. My happiness knows no bounds today."
Muthalif says that his daughter has proved that education is the best tool in the world. "My daughter has made us so proud. People who scorned us are now congratulating us today. She has proved that one can achieve anything with a good education. I hope that she is an inspiration for other physically challenged children. You can do anything once you put your mind," he adds.
Shamsiya, who studied at Merpanaikkadu Government Higher Secondary School in Tamil medium, said her teachers helped and motivated her. She received NEET coaching from Thisaigal centre, which provides coaching for free to government school students. The centre even arranged a bus especially for Shamsiya to come to class daily.
"We are very happy that Shamsiya got an MBBS seat. She was very promising and attended classes for all 60 days. We held classes continuously once the lockdown was relaxed," said Baskaran, from Thisaigal.
One of the teachers Darvi, who took a special interest in her, said, "She is the first student to study MBBS from our school and village. We are all extremely proud. She was always bright and worked very hard. Every teacher in our school and our headmaster helped her." Shamsiya wants to become a gynaecologist.