pradip chatterjee 
KOLKATA, 14 JUNE: Jasim Ahmed has overcome his disability to rank seventh in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) under the OBC category (sub category PH) for admission to under-graduate medical courses in West Bengal but still doesn’t know whether he will be able to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor as his poor father is unable to fund his studies.
By virtue of his rank he is entitled to a seat in one of the state-run medical colleges in Kolkata. He has also ranked 71st for the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune.
Shamim Ahmed, Jasim’s father, who works as a superviser in a plastic factory in Chowbaga on Basanti Highway, was all smiles after his son secured a rank in the NEET examination held on 5 May this year. Shamim was elated that his son finally beat the odds to taste success.
Now the biggest worry for the father is how to arrange funds to help his son realise his dreams of becoming a doctor.
Shamim earns Rs 4,000 a month, which is not enough to fund his son’s education. He has to maintain his family with this meagre amount, apart from providing funds for his four schoolgoing daughters. Jasim’s mother is a housewife.
A good student all through since childhood Jasim had passed the higher secondary examination from Md Jan Higher Secondary School in 2008. Since then he has been striving for success. He gave private tuition to local students to arrange money for his studies. It was never easy for a boy with a lower limb deformity to visit places to give private tuitions. His aim is to join one of the city’s hospitals so that he can serve the less fortunate who cannot afford to go to private nursing homes for treatment.
"I wanted to become a doctor to treat poor patients. I struggled hard to crack the examination. But still I don’t know how I will arrange funds to fulfill the long-cherished dream," said a misty eyed Jasim.
Despite the dark clouds over his future career, the residents of Tangra where the boy lives are proud of him. Mr Suman Sadhu said: "The boy has made us proud. We have seen him toiling hard for many years to find a place on the merit list."
Shamim Ahmed said: "We will appeal to the state government to help realise my son’s dream as he has fared remarkably well.  But his future still hangs in the balance as the financial logistics have to be worked out."