However, beating all odds these 14 students cleared the exam this year and the credit goes to 47-years-old Ajaya Bahadur Singh.
Singh, who hails from Odisha wanted to become a doctor but he couldn't fulfill his dream. So, instead, he started 'Zindagi' foundation in 2017 to help the underprivileged students, who aim to become doctors.
Modelled along the lines of Super 30, a record-setting program run by the acclaimed mathematician Anand Kumar, Zindagi is specifically set for students that are highly talented but have financial limitation to undertake the highly-expensive tuition classes.
"In 2018, students came to Zindagi. 18 students had qualified and out of them 12 took admissions in different medical colleges of Odisha," Singh told reporters in a press conference.
Singh aspired to become a doctor but family obligations prevented him from pursuing higher education. His father was an engineer and aspired to make his son a doctor. However, a kidney transplant of Singh's father forced the family to sell their property, leaving them financially constrained. In order to support his family, Singh had to sell tea. However, he completed his graduation from Sociology Honours.
"I always wanted to be a doctor and I was preparing for it as well. But my studies suffered due to kidney failure of my father. I started my career by selling tea and syrup. After completing intermediate education, I used to sell soda making machine. I gave tuitions as well to complete my education," he said.
However, after overcoming financial crisis, Singh pledged to help the needy students in fulfilling their dreams.
"When I am now in a good condition, I think I should find helpless students who could not afford to pay and help them. Poor students can join our foundation, the expenses of their accommodation, food, studies and coaching of medical entrance examinations are borne by us," he said.
"This year I taught 14 students and they all cleared the NEET exam," Singh added.
"My father was 'rajmistri' while my mother was a housewife. When my father died, I was in the sixth standard. My mother prepares 'PITHA' for ISCON temple at Bhubaneswar. I contacted Raj sir and later joined the Zindagi batch. I scored 573 marks in NEET exam 2019," she told ANI.
Mohanty has been roped in by a government medical college after 15,295 all-India rank in NEET.
Besides these two, Abanikant Swain (8582), Sailendu Raut (9196), Sai Gourav Mohapatra (10558), Sudhansu Priyadarshini (14831), Krishna Mohanty (15295), Omm Singh (16501), Amiya Ranjan Das (25361), Rutuparna Malla (35265), Jaya Prakash Panda (36900), Manas Ranjan Mishra (47571), Rakesh Kumar Rout (63502), Happin Pattanayak (65010) and Namrata Panda (72778) qualified the exam.
"I will continue to take 'Gurudakshina' from students for the whole life. I only want my students to treat poor patients free of cost," he said.
Over 14 lakh students appeared for NEET exam this year, 7,95,031 candidates living in India qualified the exam while 315 foreign nationals, 1,209 NRIs, 441 candidates holding OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India), and 46 PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) cleared the exam.
In Odisha, over 30,000 have qualified the NEET exam but the story of these 14 students is an inspiration to those who dream of becoming a doctor but could owing to lack of funds.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)