Jaipur: Rupa Yadav was all of 8 when she was married off to Shankar Lal, a class 7 student in Kareri village in Jaipur, Rajasthan. However, today, even before turning 21, she is all set to become a doctor. She has cracked the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) 2017, with the help of her husband, in-laws, and a coaching institute in Kota.
Rupa's wedding took place alongside her sister's, despite the couple being a minor at the time of marriage - a practice outlawed yet rampant in rural Rajasthan.
The 20-year-old, then just 8, didn't let adverse circumstances deter her enthusiasm. Rupa was awarded a laptop after she scored 84% in her High School exams, something that compelled her in-laws to take notice of her intellectual prowess.
Talking to CNN-News18, Rupa said she refused to give up on her dreams, regardless of getting married when she was a child.
"I would often think of my mother and the struggles of a life reduced to household chores and think I can’t let that happen to myself.”
Rupa was sent to her husband's house after she cleared her class 10 exams. The task at her hands was to convince her in-laws to support her endeavours. Since there was no school in her village, Shankar sent Rupa to a private school, 6 km away.
Today, even before turning 21, she is all set to become a doctor. (Photo: Swati Vashishtha)
Her uncle suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away for the lack of proper medical assistance. This was a watershed moment in Rupa's life as she decided to become a doctor.
Rupa's efforts didn't come to fruition when she first took a medical entrance exam. She went to a coaching in Kota to prepare for her next attempt. However, when she failed to clear the entrance exam once again, she thought she would return home. Her coaching was becoming unaffordable, and that's when Allen Coaching Institute stepped up, waving 75% of her fee.
Rupa's husband and her brother took up odd jobs such as driving an auto to support her studies. Allen Coaching Insititute has also decided to offer her a four-year scholarship. Rupa is now confident that she will get a seat at the SMS Medical College in Jaipur.