In order to bridge the gap between the demand and supply, in regards with providing healthcare services to Melghat region in Maharashtra, an IAS officer along with few medical students from B.J. Medical College Pune, has started an initiative to train tribal students to appear for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET).
“We hope that if we have more doctors from this region in the state, at least some will stay back here and will provide better healthcare facilities to the people. With this in mind we have started a dedicated training centre for medical entrance exam in a small village in this area,” said Dr Vijay Rathod, 2014 batch IAS officer. He is posted as Assistant Collector and Project Officer for Integrated Tribal Development Project in the region.
A dedicated team of around 30 resident doctors have been chosen from different medical colleges in Maharashtra who are training 50 medical aspirants from the Dharni taluka of Amravati district.
Every weekend, medical students conduct free coaching classes for students at Bijudhavadi village in Melghat. The aspirants are children of tribal people from the area studying in different Ashram Shalas. The classes began during first week of September.
Santosh Chate, a first year MBBS student from HBT Medical College in Mumbai, who has been there thrice to teach them, said, “These are junior college students who are neither good in Marathi nor in English. We have to take extra efforts while teaching these students. We all are medical students are and are taking out extra time from our busy schedule to teach these underprivileged students voluntarily. All our efforts will be fruitful when a tribal will become a doctor and will offer his service in the same area.”
A group of students from Pune’s B J Medical college have already started the initiative of offering free coaching classes for underprivileged in Pune. The initiative is called ‘Lift for Upliftment’. But, this is the first time that such an initiative has started in a remote part of the state and the first such where medical students of different colleges in Maharashtra have taken part.
Atul Dakhne, a final year MBBS student of BJ Medical College, who is leading the Melghat project under ‘Lift for Upliftment’, said, “We got a huge response when uploaded information regarding this initiative on social media. We then selected around 30 students who are currently teaching in turns. Mr Rathod gave us this idea and the ‘Lift for Upliftment’ team has worked on it tirelessly.”