The Second Wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on almost everyone. For students particularly, the lockdown has caused deep distress – the constant worry about exams being rescheduled, preparing for competitive exams online as well as the fear of an uncertain future. However, this period of grief and struggle has also given rise to many stories of courage among the student community that are a true inspiration for all. Of fighting against a situation and overcoming it and of finding opportunity in adversity.
One of such story is that of 16-year-old aspiring doctor Anurag, a student of Aakash Institute in Yamuna Nagar district of Haryana.
Anurag’s father runs a small barber shop in Yamuna Nagar. With a family income of less than 1 Lac rupees per annum, the family of four has witnessed a number of hardships since the beginning. The onset of the pandemic along with the nationwide lockdown last year made it harsher and crippled the entire family income. As the shop was closed, there was no other source of income. Later after the intervention of people from the local municipal authority, shops were allowed to open on a rotational basis keeping in mind the need of daily earners.
The impact of lockdown was such that the family found itself in deep troubled waters. The earlier days of lockdown were a bit harsh on Anurag as well due to the unavailability of proper internet and a device to study. He found his support in his mentors and peers from Aakash who have always motivated him, helped him with infrastructure and help him stay focused.
Anurag has been a studious kid throughout who has been skeptical about becoming a doctor or an engineer. But his deep interest in biology made him take the NEET path.
Says Anurag, “My father has struggled a lot to sustain our family, over the years I’ve seen the hardships he faced. Clearing NEET and becoming a doctor would be the first step I want to take to end all the financial woes of my family. I intend to do so much for my mother, my dad and my sister and I believe, that’s what keeps me going. Coming from a lower middle class background the financial troubles have been there since the beginning which made me realize the importance of education and how it can directly influence the overall quality of your life.”
Aakash Institute has made special efforts to ensure that students from Tier 2 cities and rural areas who were badly hit when the lockdown struck, are able to continue their studies and are not left behind. Teachers across all branches in India are making constant efforts to mentor the student, solve their doubts and help them so as to overcome their infrastructure needs and any problems thereof.
Says Mr. Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Ltd, “Examinations like JEE and NEET require strict study regime. It takes months of preparation to crack such high-stake exams. While the safety of students is our top-most priority, so is to provide the best learning culture. The pandemic has disrupted all our lives, yet we thrive to provide best possible learning environment for our students. We want exceptional students living in remote locations to not miss a chance at achieving their goals, irrespective of their geographical locations or economic conditions. Anurag belonging to a farmer’s family from Yamunanagar in Haryana is a perfect example of the same. I wish him all the best for his NEET exam and hope he fulfils his dream of saving lives.”
Students who wish to take admission in Aakash can either take the instant Admission cum Scholarship Test (iACST) or register for ANTHE (Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam). iACST is a recently launched scholarship program conducted for students in Class 8th to 12th which offers them a chance to win upto a 90% scholarship on tuition fees.