Let There Be Light

Inspiring tales of a bus driver’s daughter, panwala’s son and gatekeeper’s grandson becoming doctors

Urooj, a Kolkata-based NGO has taken up the task of coaching underprivileged and average students to excel in NEET exam

Kolkata: Gosiya Azad stays in a small house on College Street. During the lockdowns, she found it difficult to study at her home, so she used to walk almost two kilometres to study in a library. Azad, daughter of a bus driver, has managed to secure a medical seat (BDS) at the Dr. R Ahmed Dental College.

Gosiya missed MBBS by one mark. If shewould have OBC certificate then she would have got MBBS seat. She is an OBC candidate, but couldn’t get all the documentation done because her family is not literate.

“I had secured 62 per cent in senior secondary. And I was not very good at studies,” she recalls.

Like Gosiya, Shayaan Fahim, also says that he was an average student. And once believed he will never be able to crack the national level exam — National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). But, he too secured an MBBS seat at the Barasat Medical College.

Danyal Rizwan Ansari passed his secondary from a government school in Bihar. He is all set to become the first doctor from his village. Danyal has also secured an MBBS seat in Barasat Medical College.

Along with them, there are other students whose father runs a pan stall or whose mother is a teacher in a trust school earning a meagre salary and have beaten all odds to crack the NEET and secure a medical seat.

neet medical students doctors kolkata urooj
The Urooj students who secured a medical seat

These students have one thing in common, Urooj, a Kolkata-based Non-Government Organization (NGO) which helps underprivileged and average students to crack NEET at a nominal or almost no fees.

Some 151 students (classroom+test) enrolled last year but due to open enrollment system only 79 gave tests, out of which 22 got seats in different government medical colleges and hospitals through NEET 2022. Among them, 14 are girls who realized their dreams of becoming doctors.

On Sunday evening, all of them, along with 15 more students of Urooj’s 2021 batch were felicitated in Topsia.

And to felicitate them, 30 doctors, from renowned medical colleges and hospitals attended the event.

Aulad Hussain High School, center of Urooj’s classroom coaching had a jam-packed session, despite the unexpected delay caused by a phenomenal turnout of guests to attend the event.

neet medical students doctors kolkata urooj
Dr Salim Parvez, Dr Nahid Parvez and Dr Aadil Bashir felicitate an Urooj student Md. Shoaib Akhtar

It was an emotional moment not only for the students who realized their dreams but also for the parents who wanted to see their sons and daughters don the ‘white coat’.

Anwar Hussain, who secured an MBBS seat in Deben Mahata Medical College, when get felicitated, later called upon his father Md Mobarak Hussain and the son donned the father with white coat.

“We do not do the felicitations for donations or publicity. But by such functions, we want to encourage the students for higher studies. We believe that MBBS is just a beginning and they have to do MD and MS or other higher studies in future,” informed Umar Daraz Danish, a teacher, by profession and the center-in-charge of Urooj.

Urooj is the brainchild of Dr. Minhajuddin Khurram, Cardio-Thoracic and vascular Surgeon at NRS Medical College and his cousin Dr. Jaweria Mehreen (MBBS intern). Urooj also gets support from Helping Hand Trust.

neet medical students doctors kolkata urooj
Dr. Ahsan Kamal, Dr. Minhajuddin Khurram and Dr. Jaweria Mehreen felicitating another student of Urooj Sumaiya AK Sayeed

Umar added, “Last year, a student whose grandfather was a gatekeeper in Aulad Hussain School cleared NEET and secured a seat in a government college. But we did not publicize it. Urooj also has students who are from economically well-off backgrounds, like a parent who is a teacher in Pratt Memorial.”

Urooj conducts a one-year course for students who are in plus two or have passed senior secondary. Unlike other medical coaching centers, Urooj does not teach or guide 11th-standard students in order to prepare for NEET. It charges only Rs 20000 for a year, that too in installments. If some parents can’t afford that also then they can pay as little as Rs 8000. The Urooj students, who crack NEET, next year help guide ongoing aspirants.

“We do not compromise on the quality of teachers. All are paid as per industry-standard. But we also ensure that students do not start considering teachers as cult figures and rather believe in Urooj and the idea behind it,” said Dr. Khurram, the Academic Supervisor of Urooj.

All the budding doctors praise Dr. Khurram for his selfless mentoring and guidance, which helped them crack NEET.

Some of the doctors also addressed future doctors like gynaecologist Nahid Parvez and Plastic Surgeon Faria Shahab.

“The students should believe that they are not in the profession to earn money but to serve humanity. I also request support from those who are unable to clear this year,” said Dr. Nahid.

While Dr. Faria highlighted, “There is a need for female doctors in every area of specialization and there is nothing like male specialist area, so girls can opt for any specialization they want.”

The list of thirty doctors with their specializations and where they are practicing.

1- Dr. Sayeed Uddin(MBBS, Veteran General Practitioner)

2- Dr. Marya Tazeen (BDS, Dentist, Central Kolkata)

3– Dr. Arshad Ahmed (MS, Orthopedics, Asst. Prof CNMC)

4- Dr. Sufiyan Ahmed (MD, Anesthesia and intensive care specialist, in-charge of GDDI ICU)

5– Dr. Ayesha Farheen (BHMS, Homeopathic Practitioner)

6– Dr. Arsalan Raza (MBBS, DCH, Pediatrician) 

7– Dr. Salim Parvez (MD, Radiologist, Director of Radiology, Fortis)

8– Dr. Nahid Parvez (MS, Renowned Gynaecologist)

9– Dr. Aadil Bashir (DM, Cardiologist, NRS MCH)

10– Dr. Asif Ansari (MD, Internal Medicine, Asst. Prof CNMC)

11– Dr. Fatima Zinna (MD, Dermatologist)

12– Dr. Wasif Akhtar (Homeopathy practitioner)

13– Dr. Md. Sarim Ashfaque. (MS, Orthopaedics, Apollo)

14– Dr. Ishrat Parveen (BHMS, Homeopathic Practitioner)

15– Dr. Zoya Ayesha (MBBS, Social Activist)

16– Dr. Ismail Shahidullah (DNB, Neuro Anesthesia- INK)

17– Dr. Jaweria Mehreen (MBBS intern- founder member of Urooj)

18– Dr. Mubashshir Shamim (MRCP, Pediatrician)

19– Dr. Arif Faizan (MD, Senior Interventional Radiologist, NH, Medica and Kothari)

20- Dr. Haseeb Hassan (DM- Neurologist, Amri, Kolkata)

21– Dr. Abdul Majid (DMS, Veteran Homeopathic Practitioner)

22– Dr. Amber Obaid (MD, Senior Radiologist, Medica)

23– Dr. Ahsan Kamal (MS, General Surgery)

24– Dr. Talha Shahid (BDS, Dentist)

25– Dr. Subhan Reyaz (DNB Radiation Oncology, Chitranjan Cancer Hospital)

26– Dr. Saima Shahid (BHMS, Homeopathic Practitioner)

27– Dr. Minhajuddin Khurram (MCh, CTVS, resident at NRS)

28– Dr. Faria Shahab (MCh, Plastic Surgeon, Asst. Prof RG. Kar)

29- Dr. Nehal (DMS, Veteran Homeopathic Practitioner, Social Activist)

30– Dr. Samira Aslam (BDS, Dentist)

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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