RATNA PRASAD ACHARYA
DHARAN: “But I, being poor, have only my dreams.” Shibaraj Praja has somehow imbibed this famous lines of WB Yeats, though inadvertently.
At 21, this inspiring youth from the Chepang community of Dhading, Dhusa VDC-8, Bhoomidanda, is a bright ray of hope that makes him standout in his entire community.
It's not the riches that he could, however, imagine being a member of this extremely backward community.
But more than that he has a strong underlining desire to become a doctor – something he always dreamt since his early childhood – to serve his community and his countrymen.
As a first step towards realizing his dream, he has come
all the way to Dharan to appear for the MBBS entrance examination slated to be held at the BP Koirala Institute of Health and Sciences on Saturday.
A brilliant student from his early childhood, Shibaraj got an opportunity to study from Grade IX to Grade XII from the Pokhara-based Step By Step Higher Secondary School, thanks to a Dutch national who out of compassion financed for his studies after The Himalayan Times and the Annapurna Post carried a news report about him about seven years ago. He secured 78 and 65 per cent in SLC and ISC respectively.
Years after, he is now a second year student of Microbiology Bachelors level at the Kathmandu-based Tri-Chandra College.
"I wanted to be a doctor from my early childhood. As a doctor I will serve the poor and helpless people of my country," said Shibaraj, lamenting he could not compete from the government quota as he did not do his schooling from a government school.
"Since 1994, when the institute began MBBS entrance, Shibaraj is the first Chepang student appearing for the
entrance," said Prof Umesh Thapa of the BPKIHS Education Department, adding that, a total of 135 students have applied for three Jaanajati quota seats.
The institute is conducting the entrance examination on Saturday for 100 quota students for MBBS and 40 for BDS this year. For the exams, five exam centres have been fixed in Dharan and Biratnagar.
According to the BPKIHS Education Department chief Deepak Shakya, a total of 2,115 examinees, including 186 from India are appearing for the entrance exams.