Where there's a will, there's a way. It doesn't matter whether you are poor or you were married off at the age of eight.
Rupa Yadav has proved the age-old dictum right by clearing the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) for medical education. Married at the age of eight, Rupa, 20, is on course to become a doctor.
Rupa, who attended coaching classes at an institute in Kota, cleared the examination in her third attempt, securing 2,612 all-India rank with a score of 603, and is now taking part in counselling sessions for college admission. She hopes to get into a good government-run medical college.
Born in Kareri village of Jaipur district, Rupa and her elder sister Rukma were married off to 12-year-old Shankarlal and his elder brother Babulal, respectively, when they were just eight and nine. Child marriage used to be a widely prevalent custom in Rajasthan those days. Although not completely eradicated, one does not hear much about it these days.
Rupa continued her education even after marriage, a challenging undertaking given the social milieu of Rajasthan. She scored a decent 84 percent in her class 10 examination which made her husband and brother-in-law encourage her to study further. She repeated the performance in her class 12 examination with a score of 84 percent. She managed to study while doing household chores.
She enrolled herself in a BSc course and took the All India PMT examination the same year. Business Standard quoted her as saying,
Though I did not qualify for a good government medical college, the AIPMT marks encouraged my husband and brother-in-law to send me to Kota to prepare for the MBBS entrance test.
Rupa says she wanted to become a doctor ever since her uncle Bhimaram Yadav died due to lack of medical assistance after suffering from cardiac arrest.
She says she wanted to study at a coaching institute in Kota as she believed it would help improve her score. Despite being a private institution, Allen Coaching decided to give her a 75 percent fee waiver. Yet it was difficult for her in-laws to pay for her education at Kota given their poor financial condition.
Rupa was quoted by the Indian Express as saying,
My in-laws, like my parents, are farmers. The income from farming is meagre. So my husband started plying a taxi to sponsor my education.
According to her, the Allen Coaching Institute has now decided to assist her with a monthly scholarship to help her complete the four-year MBBS course.