Married at 8, this Rajasthan woman who cleared NEET hits fund hurdle


When 20-year old Rupa Yadav who was married off when she was just eight cracked the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) this year, she not only hit the headlines for her inspiring feat but was also assured of financial help from various quarters. A month on, while Rupa has secured admission in Sardar Patel Medical College, Bikaner, the funds for her education remain inadequate.

Rupa’s husband Shankar Lal Yadav, who claimed that he has not received any fund from any NGO or organisation, said: “We were told that we will get money for her education. I and my brother have managed the expenses till now but we need monetary help.”

The coaching institute in Kota where Rupa studied for the medical entrance exam is the only ray of hope. The institute has opened her bank account and would transfer Rs 1,500 every month. “We haven’t received Rupa’s admission details. When we get it, we’ll start depositing money in her account for 4 years,” said an official from Allen Coaching Institute.

Rupa’s life underwent a sea change after the results. Accolades poured in and she became a role model overnight. “My school and coaching institutes have felicitated me and young girls come to meet me. Unfortunately, not many families are willing to educate their girls,” she said.

Her desire to pursue studies when she got married did not go unnoticed by her in-laws. While the family worked hard in agricultural fields to make both ends meet, they chose to send her to school. Fighting all odds, Rupa’s husband and brother in-law funded her education. “I would get up at 3 am to go to fields along with my family. Then I would rush to school. It was only at 2 pm that I would get time to eat anything. I also had to finish household chores,” Rupa said.

While Rupa could struggle through all this, it was society’s attitude that depressed her.

Rupa’s husband said the villagers initially did not like the idea of a married girl going to school. “Many discouraged us saying what is the point of spending money on a girl’s education. However, looking at Rupa’s enthusiasm and intelligence, we did not deter her,” said Yadav.

After scoring well in class 10, Rupa made up her mind to study further. But it was her uncle’s death that made her realise her true calling. “My uncle died of cardiac arrest. We could have saved him if we had good doctors in rural areas. It was then I decided to become a cardiac surgeon,” she said.

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