Neelam Sharma’s mother long cherished dream has come true. Also, a homemaker she has witnessed tough times in life. One of the hardships being constantly cursed for giving birth to two daughters. Her only goal was to help her daughter become financially independent so that she doesn’t go through the same hardships that she faced.
Neelam grew up in the Maharana Pratap area, an urban slum in Surat, opposite the Old Bombay Market, where her parents–migrants from Uttar Pradesh–and her three siblings lived.
Indeed, Neelam’s mother is proud as she finished her Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course from the Government Dental College, Jamnagar, this year.Furthermore, she hails from a very simple background and belongs to a family of six siblings. Also, her father is a fruit vendor on streets.
However, the hardships did not put an end to their abilities to dream. In 2005, when Neelam was six years old, Navsarjan, an NGO, helped her appear for the Visamo Kids Foundation (VKF) admission test in Surat. The foundation along with individual sponsors and donors funded her education.
“I always aspired to pursue medicine and become a doctor. But I never thought this dream would ever be a reality. Now there is no limit to my happiness after having completed BDS,” said Neelam, who completed her Class 10 from Anand Niketan, Satellite school in Ahmedabad with 88 percent marks in 2014-15. Later, she went on to pursue higher secondary education at St Kabir School, Naranpura.
In hindsight, looking back at her journey, Neelam thanks her mother for being so supportive towards her career.
“My mother wanted her daughters to become well educated and not face what she did. She would keep searching for ways she could get help in our education. That’s how she came across the foundation and was told about the entrance exam to choose best candidates,” explained Neelam, who is currently looking to complete a year-long internship.