ROURKELA: Soyeb Aftab has wowed the entire country with his phenomenal performance in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET)-2020 scoring a perfect 720 out of 720.
However, behind his extraordinary feat lies the struggle and resolve of his parents Sheikh Mohammed Abbas and Sultana Rizia who despite their limited means ensured their children got the best education.
Abbas and his wife Rizia made all the compromises and sacrifices for their children, Soyeb and his 10-year-old sister Alisha, who studies in Class V. Alisha is also a brilliant student.
Abbas, a graduate said he and his wife laid the foundation for a bright future for their children 20 years back when on his insistence, Rizia, with Soyeb in her womb completed her graduation.
“My orthodox family was adamant on not allowing Rizia to study further after marriage. We moved away from my family and stayed separately for eight-and-a-half years. In the meanwhile, Rizia gave birth to Soyeb and completed her graduation from Burdwan University by travelling frequently from Rourkela to West Bengal,” he said. Since then the couple has left no stones unturned to provide an ideal environment to their children for their studies.
As a businessman, Abbas often saw many ups and downs but he did not let adversities come in the way of his children’s future. He recently switched to construction work from loose tea leaf trade.
During lockdown, there was no work and then the earning started dipping drastically.
Abbas candidly admits that his in-laws at Kolkata supported him financially during the tough times.
Rizia said her struggle to complete graduation inspired her to give the best of education to her children. She along with Soyeb and Alisha had moved to Kota, Rajasthan in 2018 where the siblings took admission at Sarvodaya School.
Soyeb also pursued medical coaching at Allen Career Institute in the town. Abbas’ childhood friend Afroz Ahmed said the businessman’s resolve and determination helped him stay all alone in the city for two years.