SAMBALPUR: A 64-year-old man has taken admission in the MBBS course at the government-run Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Vimsar) in Burla this year.
Jaya Kishore Pradhan of Attabira in Bargarh district, a retired bank employee, said he wanted to embark on a new career, and felt that it was never too late to do something one liked.
Pradhan, who retired as a deputy manager of the State Bank of India, said, “I had appeared in the medical entrance examination after I completed my I.Sc (Intermediate in Science) but I failed to crack it then. Later, I pursued a BSc in physics and joined as a teacher at Attabita M.E School for a year. Subsequently, I joined Indian Bank and then the State Bank of India in 1983. However, I never gave up on my dream to pursue medicine,” he said.
“I prepared for the NEET after I retired in 2016. I appeared for the exam this time and qualified. After I train as a doctor, I wish to provide free medical treatment to the poor,” said Pradhan, who is also physically challenged.
Pradhan further said a Supreme Court decision in 2018 to allow students above the age of 25 to appear for the NEET had helped him secure admission in Vimsar.
Dean and principal of Vimsar, Brajamohan Mishra, said, “There is no upper age limit for admission into the MBBS course. The candidate will attend classes from this session,” he said, adding that Pradhan is the oldest person to take admission in the MBBS course.
“I had even planned to quit my job and take admission in MBBS. But we were five brothers and my family responsibilities didn’t allow me to quit the job at that time,” said Pradhan.
Rajesh Agrawal, a social worker of Attabira, said, Pradhan had created history by qualifying the NEET entrance at this age. “He is an inspiration for the young generation. Despite all odds, he resolved to pursue his studies,” he said.
Pradhan, who was born on November 30, 1956, is father to twin daughters and a son. One of his daughters now studies Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS). The other, who was also a BDS student, passed away on November 20 this year. Pradhan’s son is in Class X. When asked if his family was supportive of his decision to join the MBBS course, Pradhan said, “We are going through a difficult time now due to the death of my daughter.”
Retired surgery specialist, Bikash Hota, was admiring of Pradhan’s determination. “To start MBBS at the age of 64 is a rare thing. I believe this is the first such case in India,” he said.
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