NEW DELHI: Situated in the narrow lanes of Shastri Nagar in the national capital, the ramshackled house of the Garg family burst out with joyous news as Kushal Garg, the youngest of the family members cracked the National Eligibility Entrance Examination (NEET) and secured a place in the premier medical school of the country.
Kushal Garg scored a 700 out of 720 in the NEET 2021 examination. He achieved an All India Rank (AIR) of 165, securing a seat for himself at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi while also ranking no.1 in the ‘Economically Weaker Section’ (EWS) category in the national capital. Garg has passed out from Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, a government school in Nai Basti Kishan Ganj, Delhi. Also Watch & Read: Meet NEET Toppers: Some Stayed In Kota, Some Went Online To Beat COVID
The family of four comprising the father, the mother, the brother and Kushal Garg live on the second floor of their one bedroom house with a tiny kitchen and a small cubicle that serves as their lavatory. The ground floor of the house is used by Om Pal Garg, father of Kushal Garg to make wooden boxes which he then sells to earn for the family and educate the children.
Kushal Garg’s mother Shashi Garg is a homemaker and has a history of ailments including epilepsy. While speaking to The New Indian, she expressed her joy at seeing her son’s feat. “I am elated. I don’t know how to express it in words. It feels like a dream. If I look back now, we have seen many financial and health crises in the family. My husband, for the past 20 years, has been troubled with ailments. He never gave up. 99% of credit for the support goes to him,” she said.
The backbone of the family (as Kushal describes him), Kushal Garg’s father Om Pal Garg has been a carpenter for the better part of the last 25 years and makes wooden crates and boxes alone on the ground floor of their residence. Om Pal Garg opens up about the challenges he faced while also telling us about him being diagnosed with depression for a very long time.
“I do my own work. I make wooden crates alone. I have no one working for me. I work hard for my children so that their dreams can be fulfilled. I told my children to keep studying. I will continue to support them with the means that I can afford. I used all my courage to keep working. I have never told my children to work. I just want for them to keep studying and lead a playful life.” He told The New Indian.
Delhi Deputy Chief minister and Minister of Education, Manish Sisodia, also congratulated Garg for his exceptional achievement.
History created by a Delhi govt school student Kushal Garg. He has secured 700 marks out of 720.
All India Rank 165, secured seat at AIIMS.
Father 10th pass, carpenter.
Mother 12th pass , House wife
Congratulations Kushal. Proud of you. pic.twitter.com/lnYOHL8Rwj
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) November 10, 2021
“I am very happy that my brother cracked the NEET exam. Finally he will study at AIIMS Delhi which was his dream. Now we will be able to earn for our family soon. There will be a good source of income in the house. Maybe our days will also change now,” said Rahul Garg, Kushal’s elder sibling who has completed his graduation in engineering.
Opening up about the hard financial challenges through his journey, Kushal Garg tells The New Indian, “I never thought that I would achieve an All India Rank of 165. Having studied in a government school, for me to even think that I could crack the NEET exam was very difficult. My father suffered a lot of financial loss. I still tremble thinking of those times and our condition. But my father supported me. He told me to keep studying and that he was behind me at all times. Whatever I have achieved, was possible only because of my parents and teachers.”
Another Delhi government school student Ishika Jain, from Surajmal Vihar School who had secured 700 out of 720 in NEET 2021 with an AIR of 156 received praise and commendation from the Delhi government. Jain is also a first generation student whose father runs a stationary shop while her mother is a homemaker.