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Devbrat Patnaik

Rayagada: It is said the virtue of a father can be seen in the goals and aspirations he sets for himself as well as his kids. Ladi Sameswar Rao of Gudiabandha under Padmapur block of Rayagada district also had woven dreams for his son to be a doctor, and Rakesh, like most kids do, started chasing his father's dreams.

For someone who is very close to his father, the penchant is always there to fulfil the ambition they have been nurturing for decades.

Ladi Rakesh made sure he studied day and night and eventually cleared the MBBS entrance exam. He took admission at the Cuttack Sriram Chandra Bhanja (SCB) Medical College and Hospital, one of the premier medical institutions in Odisha.

But hardly did he know an unexpected barrier was placed in his path. Just when Rakesh was set to break into the doctors' league, he lost his father.

Rakesh's father Sameswar Rao - Pani Panchayat committee chairperson and a former Zilla Parishad member - died of a cardiac arrest last Friday.

The scenes that followed were heart-wrenching. Sameswar's body was on the bier outside his house before he was taken to the crematorium. Tears tore apart Rakesh's friends and family members when he used a stethoscope to listen to the heartbeat of his dead father lying on the bier, and one could clearly see he was not just mourning the loss of his father but deep inside he wished he were alive to see him become a medical practitioner and serve people.

People said in pain or in happiness, his father supported him the most. Rakesh carried his father on shoulders for the one last time, to perform last rites, but knows he has to overcome the personal loss as he now has to carry his dad's dreams for the rest of his life.


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