Neet and Clean: Rajasthan tempo driver's daughter perseveres to clear NEET

Tempo driver’s daughter Naziya Parvin clears national medical entrance exams to set an example for her community in interior Rajasthan, writes Rajesh Asnani
Naziya Parvin and her father Issamuddin (both garlanded) felicitated by residents of the Anjuman locality in Pachpahar, Jhalawar district, after her outstanding NEET results
Naziya Parvin and her father Issamuddin (both garlanded) felicitated by residents of the Anjuman locality in Pachpahar, Jhalawar district, after her outstanding NEET results

RAJASTHAN:  The Anjuman locality of Pachpahar town, about 50 km from Jhalawar district in Rajasthan, is celebrating its daughter’s success – Naziya Parvin, 22, is on her way to become the first doctor in the locality. Her father Issamuddin, a tempo driver, cannot hide his happiness at Naziya’s dream coming true.

Naziya scored 668 marks in the NEET (UG) 2021 exam and ranked 1759th at the national level. Over eight lakh candidates took this prestigious exam, and Naziya ranked 477th in the Other Backward Classes category. In the predominantly Muslim locality, many dreams die young as the girls here rarely study up to Class 10 or 12. 

Naziya challenged her circumstances even though her father earned not more than Rs 10,000 per month as he struggled to look after his three children. “Medical treatment is costly as there are not enough doctors around. In the absence of medical guidance, adolescent girls and women in my locality face many problems. I thought of helping them by becoming a doctor so that no one has to go all the way to a big city for treatment,” says Naziya.

Naziya studied at a private school till Class 8. As her parents did not have the money to pay the fee, her teacher Riyaz Qureshi waived it because Naziya was a studious child. However, there was no school in the town to study biology in Class 9. Naziya decided to cycle about 6 km to a school in Bhawani Mandi. The cycle was a gift from the state government.

In time, her hard work bore fruit. Naziya scored 92 per cent marks in Class 10 and topped the district. A scholarship scheme enabled her to avail specialised coaching. She went on to top Class 12 as well in the district, and then enrolled at a Kota institute to prepare for NEET exams. 

There was yet another problem: Naziya had studied in the Hindi medium, so her first three attempts ended in failure. She got through in the fourth attempt by taking online study help. All this while, the family borrowed money for her coaching. “There was a lot of pressure on my father to stop my studies and marry me off. But he stood by me and I completed my preparations with my mother’s support. I am so proud of my parents,” says Naziya.

Aamna Bi, Naziya’s mother, says most girls in the family got married when they were barely 15 years old. “Our daughter has made the entire family proud,” says the delighted mother. At present, Naziya’s younger sister Ishrat is studying in Class 12 and wants to join the civil service, while her brother is in Class 10. After gaining success, Naziya wants to change people’s mindset about education. 

“Many people are convinced that their daughters deserve higher education. I will be happier if my example prompts four girls to study further,” she says.  “I will come back to my town after I complete my medical studies. I want to help poor children like me in studies and I would like to help those unable to get treatment because they don’t have enough money,” adds Naziya, who wants to work in the field of health and education. “We need daughters like her,” says local councillor Nahid Begum, who expects Naziya to serve as an example for others. 

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