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Devbrat Patnaik

Cuttack: Living his parents' dreams, Deepak Samal - a young slum dweller from Balikuda area in Cuttack, has followed what Bruce Lee had said "the successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus" a little too seriously and how! He knows nothing other than hard work and focus, since the day he has been able to decipher that there are no secrets to success.

Deepak grew up seeing his father struggling to make their ends meet, but the dream in their eyes for him to be a doctor was something he could never forego, and he eventually made that dream his own.

Deepak cracked the medical entrance exam NEET with a rank of 1149, that too in his very first attempt and landed at the same college his parents had dreamt of. The boy who took admissions in the first year MBBS course at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack last month, credits his success to the support of his family.

Expressing his happiness, the medical student said, "I'm happy that I could fulfil their dreams as well as mine. They had expected that I will clear the exam in the first attempt, and that is what has happened. My parents also wished to see me study at the SCB."

Though he experienced tough times in his life, it is his dedication and hard work that earned him a place in the premier medical institution in Odisha - SCB, feel Deepak's proud parents. The ragged footwear and the cycle that still accompany him to the college every day is sufficient to prove that he is an epitome of sincerity.

"I did not have a mobile phone, so I had to borrow mobile phone from others for online studies, and even appeared for the exams in mobile," said the boy.

Deepak comes from a poor family as his father Abinash Samal works as a daily wage labourer whose meagre income doesn't seem enough to fill their stomach, leave aside the educational expenses.

But Abinash knows he cannot compromise on his son's education and that the dream is well beyond other basic needs of the family of five. Narrating the struggle, the father said, "I feel terrible when he asks money to buy books and other materials for his studies. Somehow I manage to convince him to wait for a day or two so that I get enough time to arrange the required money. All I want is to see my son as a sincere doctor and serve the people."

The contribution and blessings of Deepak's mother in this yet-to-be-accomplished journey is no less. In order to fulfil her son's dreams, mother Ranjulata has slept empty stomach on many days and it was she who decided to take loan from a money lender to pay his admission fees. "I have always told him, when you become a doctor, look at the patients and their families the way you look at us. Serve them well, share your experiences with them. Take away their trouble and give them happiness in return."

Worthwhile to mention, residing at slum never posed a hindrance to his academic career. Deepak secured 93% in his matriculation examination and above 80% in Plus-II Science exams. "From the beginning, he had aimed to clear the NEET exam and get into the SCB medical college. His studious mind, his innocent behaviour, and his obedience helped him achieve this feat," said Sushant Mohanty, his teacher.

If ever you think you cannot make a difference in this world, just remember how this 'slumdog' Deepak Samal found a cure to beat poverty. He gives a life lesson- Never stop chasing your dreams, success would come knocking at the doors one day.


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