NEW DELHI: Covid-19 pandemic, mental stress, pressure to cope with coaching classes were just some of the barriers faced by this year’s NEET candidates.
On November 2 when the government announced the NEET result, there was a sigh of relief among the anxious students awaiting their fate.
Like an annual ritual, it was coaching centres like the Allen Career Institute in Rajasthan’s Kota that had trained some of these kids.
While some students stayed in this beautiful town of Rajasthan despite covid and social distancing norms, others went for online coaching.
The New Indian tracked down five such toppers from various states who cracked the medical entrance exam.
Many of them accepted how they reconciled with the new quality of life while struggling to have a mentor or a coach in person.
Speaking to Aman Tripathi, NEET 2021 topper from the state of Uttar Pradesh with an All India Rank (AIR) of 4, he said it was a double delight for the family ahead of Diwali.
Tripathi belongs to a small Khurhand village in Atarra Tehsil of Banda district in Uttar Pradesh. The population of his village is just about 5000. Aman however says he preferred to stay in Kota during the COVID-19 lockdown to avoid any disturbances in the studies.
“My father, a government teacher, had dreamt of seeing me become a doctor. And here I am in the middle of a pandemic out to serve the society,” he said.
Hrutul Chagg, who secured AIR of 5 and is a topper from Gujarat mentioned how the entire village Kodinar, where he stays, joined him in the celebration.
“In future I will be a frontline worker during the pandemic and will get a chance to serve the country in the field of medicine,” he said, exuding confidence after the result.
A resident of Alwar, Leena Khandelwal, Rajasthan state topper with a NEET AIR of 23 is the only student from her state in top 25.
“ I pursued online classes from Allen career institute and went for classes physically to Jaipur when possible. It’s a dream come true,” she said.
Suyash Arora, who comes from Panchkula in Haryana got AIR rank 5. With this, he is all set to join his sister Mehak Arora at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.
“My sister had secured an AIR3 in NEET 2018 and gave me the inspiration to prepare for the gruelling examination. My mother and grandparents were my pillars during his time of preparation and during periods of anxiety,” he said.
Pavit Singh, who secured rank of 23 and is Chandigarh topper recalled how her mother, a pathologist, was her motivation. She also said that doctors working for long hours during the pandemic kept the hopes high for students like her.