Sharmili Mallick

Debasish Barik from Huma village in Odisha’s Sambalpur has once again proved the age-old saying: Where there is a will, there is a way.

Debasish, whose father is a small farmer and mother, a ‘beedi’ binder, braved all odds of poverty, pandemic and deprivation to crack the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021. The results of the all-India entrance test were announced by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on November 1.

Debasish is a meritorious student since his childhood and wanted to be a doctor. When in school, Debasish’s father Sitaram Barik met with an accident that left him bed-ridden for at least two years. The little boy was about to leave studies to support his family when his school headmaster Chittaranjan Pradhan, who knew of his talents, extended a helping hand.

Pradhan visited Debasish’s house and assured his parents to extend financial support for his studies. Thereafter, there was no looking back for Debasish.

After securing good marks in Class 10, Pradhan enrolled in Plus II courses and joined coaching classes to prepare for medical entrance exams. However, the Covid-19 situation kept him away from the classes. Deprived of books and coaching, Debasish was unsuccessful in clearing NEET the last time.

However, he decided to give it another chance and cleared the examination this year with 6,203 rank. Thanks to the hours of hard work and unputdownable spirit. 

“There were lots of struggles but I wanted to be a doctor and with God’s grace, I have cracked the NEET which is the first step towards achieving my dreams. I cleared the exam on my second attempt. I didn't have the study material, books or coaching. I had to completely depend on the internet for the preparations,” said Debasish.

Sitaram Barik, Debasish’s father said, “When my son was in Class 10, Chittaranjan Pradhan visit our home and saw our financial condition. He has helped our son with all possible resources.”

“He had studied day and night and I am happy he finally cracked the prestigious examination,” said Debasish’s mother, Nalini Barik.

Pradhan, who helped Debisish in achieving his dreams said, “I told him (Debasish) that his father and I will help him in his medical studies and asked him to work hard. His hard work paid off and he managed to crack the NEET. Unable to buy the costly books, he prepared for the exam with help from the internet only,” Pradhan added.