At a time when rackets producing fake doctors are under the scanner of Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID), there’s a poor agriculture labourer who is trying hard to pursue his dream to become a doctor someday.
48-year-old Pradip Halder, has appeared for the medical entrance examinations 17 times, every year since 2000, according to a Hindustan Times report.
Halder, a father of two daughters and a son, appeared for the examination this year too and is eagerly waiting for the results. The report suggests that Pradip Halder’s target is to secure a rank within 500 in the Scheduled Caste (SC) category that will enable him to get admission in a government-run medical college.
So far, the best rank he has got is 1,725. Pradip is also hoping that the common medical entrance test won’t become mandatory, or even if it become, then the upper age limit of 30 years for an SC candidate is relaxed.
Notably, Bengal does not have any age limit. It has got about 2,700 MBBS seats in state-run and private medical colleges.
A resident of Nadia district in Bengal, about 125 km from Kolkata, Halder is financially very weak. He earns just about Rs 4,000 a month. He has inherited homestead land and does not have any land of his own.
When it rains, the walls of bamboo and roof of tin of his house are not even enough to prevent the water from coming in.
In 2013, Halder got in touch with Dr AK Maity. Impressed by his passion, Maity decided to take him under my wings. Since then, his ranks are going up every year.
Maity hopes that he will realise his dream someday. He is a retired government doctor now runs a coaching centre for medical aspirants in Kolkata.
Maity brings Halder to Kolkata, puts him up at a shared cheap accommodation for four to six weeks before the entrance examination and helps him prepare for the test. He funds all expenses of Halder during this period.
Born in 1969, Halder passed class X from Bengal board in 1986. Then poverty forced him to take a gap. In 2000, he passed plus two level with English, Hindi, physics, chemistry and biology. From that year, he started following his dream of becoming a doctor.