On the fateful day in 2008, 16-year-old Roshan Jawad lost both her legs after being pushed out of a crowded local train near Andheri but did not lost her dream of becoming a doctor. Defying all odds Nine years after the accident, Roshan has become the first doctor in her family.
Daughter of a pushcart vegetable vendor secured a first class in her final MBBS examination at KEM Hospital last year but the story does not just end here. Now Dr Roshan is not only just few steps away from getting admitted in Post-Graduation but also is a reason to pave ways for students having more than 70% disability.
State’s third ranker in the CET handicapped quota in 2011, Roshan had to fight a legal battle to get admitted to MBBS course. Existing law allows only people with “up to 70% handicap” to study medicine but she was found to be 88% handicapped post the accident. Central govt has recently increased the handicapped quota from 3% to 5% and quashed the maximum disability criteria leaving aside the eligibility criteria at 40%.
Roshan, an inspiring women who stays with her parents, an elder brother and sister in a 10-by-10-feet rented room in a Jogeshwari chawl shares her experience with Imran Inamdar exclusively for TheShahab.com.
Q. How was your journey so far?
A. There were many ups and downs but I have complete faith in Allah almighty and by his grace, everything went smoothly. So far I have enjoyed the life because everybody can walk on smooth path but the fun part comes when you have challenges in front of you.
Q. What inspired you to face challenges?
A. My family, especially my mom who studied till 4th standard as women education was not considered important at that time in Azamgarh, UP – her native place. Despite of flak from family members and hardships, my mom has decided to educate her daughters. After lot of efforts somehow my elder sister completed 12th then family members realized the importance of education but due to financial condition, she was forced to quit her studies. Currently, she is working as a paramedical staff with Millat hospital. My younger sister is doing Master’s in Textiles so my mom is my real inspiration.
Q. How did you manage your education expenses as your father is vegetable vendor?
A. We stay in rented home, our financial condition was in bad shape as my father being a vegetable vendor brings small earnings at the end of the day. They say that Allah helps us from the hidden ways, when I met with an accident and news came out in media, many good people and NGO’s came forward and helped us in meeting the hospital expenditures and prosthetic legs which costed 6 lakhs 10 years ago. When media highlighted court case around my MBBS admission, Congress MLA Amin Patel came to visit my house and promised to pay my medical course expenses. Finally after the court order when I got admission in MBBS, Amin Patel kept his words and fulfilled all my education expenses during the course duration.
Q. What made you reach to the court?
A. During the counseling, when I was rejected on the basis of disability. Initially I lost all the hopes but orthopedic surgeon Dr Sanjay Kantharia who operated on me suggested me to approach the High Court as a last resort.
Q. Who carried the High court and lawyer expenses?
A. We met senior lawyer V P Patil, who took up my case for free. Moreover he bore all the court expenses from his own pocket and did not accept a single penny till date even after my insistence.
Q. Have you dreamt of becoming a doctor?
A. I had a dream of becoming a doctor since school days though I had little knowledge and heard people saying it’s an expensive affair. But due to unsound financial condition, I thought of doing paramedical course after 12th standard to partially fulfill my dream of joining hospital at least if not a doctor.
Q. Have you had any difficulties during your MBBS course due to disability?
A. Yes because practical lessons are conducted in different buildings located at distance which also involves long duration standing for about six hours. In my second counseling after the court order, I was informed about these hardships but there was no alternate for me except to move forward. I have to set an example that people with disability can also achieve anything if they have the passion and determination.
Q. Can you please tell us more about your disability?
A. In my left leg, it is below knee and right leg is missing from hip itself. I use prosthetics outside but at home I generally do not use it because it is irritating.
Q. Now, your way for Masters have been cleared, which specialization would you go for?
A. I have chosen Radiology, pathology and skin for my post-graduation. Again there were some hurdles because of my disability but Almighty Allah’s grace MP Kirit Somaiya took special efforts and within two days, 20 years old law was amended for my PG admission. Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda himself called and gave this welcome news.
Q. What are your future plans after post-graduation?
A. I will try for civil services examinations to become an IAS officer after completing my MD (Doctor of Medicine) Insha Allah (if Allah wills). In future, I have plans to work for people with disability through some NGO or through my profession when I will have enough sources.
Q. Any message?
A. Difficulties will always be there but you have to find ways to overcome it. If even after having 90% disability, I am doing medical course then others can also achieve anything if they have passion for it.
(The Interview was conducted by Imran Inamdar and compiled by Ubaid Salfi)