Mason's son from Yadgir becomes doctor, wants to opt for rural service

Mason's son from Yadgir becomes doctor, wants to opt for rural service

Mason's son from Yadgir becomes doctor, wants to opt for rural service

When it comes to choosing between going for rural service and pursuing postgraduation, Dr Nagaraj had no problems in opting for the former.

Unlike the toppers and gold medallists passing out of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Dr Nagaraj, son of a mason and a maid, knows the difficulties of healthcare access in rural areas.

"I belong to a village called Sutar Hosahalli in Yadgir district, where there is no hospital or any healthcare services. People have to travel 10 km to Honagera to get access to medical care," Dr Nagaraj, one of 250 students to graduate from BMCRI, said.

His parents, Dodda Hanumantha and Bhagamma, had never been to school. Though his siblings had been to school, Dr Nagaraj managed to get the 400th rank in CET and secured admission to the medical school.

Aided by his uncle, he studied at a government school and got admission at the Moraji Desai residential school at Yadgir. He pursued intermediary at Gurukul PU college in Kalaburagi - the private college also paid his fees at BMCRI.

Though he wants to pursue postgraduation in general medicine, Dr Nagaraj said it could wait until he gained more understanding of the healthcare needs of the rural folk.

"My parents don't understand much about my work, but they always ask me to do the right thing," he said. "I know the road I had travelled and the difficulties I faced. It's time I do something for my people."

Out of the graduating students, 16 won gold medals and four emerged as toppers in as many years of the course. Dr Priya V M won four gold medals for pathology, microbiology and pharmacology, besides being a second-year topper.

No break from studies

"I'd like to serve in rural areas, but first I want to do my post graduation in paediatrics. A break now would affect my postgraduation. Even if I get a chance to go abroad (later), I'd opt to stay put and serve people here," Dr Priya said. Dr Pavana V won the gold medal in biochemistry and wants to be a neurosurgeon. "I'll have to really toil for that," she said.

Dr Pavana has no qualms in serving rural people, but she wants the government to give a place to stay and ensure security.

"Fresh graduates will find it harder to work in rural areas otherwise," she said.