A 17-year-old boy may well become the shortest doctor in the world. At 3 feet height and 14 kg in weight, Ganesh Baraiya from Gorkhi village of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district, became eligible for admission to MBBS after the Supreme Court recently passed an order in his favour.
Despite scoring well in the national entrance test, NEET, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had refused admission to Ganesh in MBBS due to his short stature. The apex body of medical practitioners reasoned that he wouldn’t be able to perform emergency cases in medical practice and special arrangements will have to be made for him.
The youngster took the case to the Supreme Court and won it.
Ganesh is now eligible for admission to any government medical college in the state. Dr Dalpat Kataria, owner of the school where Ganesh studied, will bear his education expenses and has borne his legal expense of Rs 4 lakh as his parents are small-time agriculture labourers who couldn’t afford his studies.
“I am very happy that I got justice from the Supreme Court. Earlier my candidature was rejected by a panel of expert doctors twice and I even lost the case in Gujarat High Court. But now I can fulfil the dream I had conceived in childhood,” a delighted Ganesh told Mirror.
Ganesh falls under the PH (physically handicapped) category due to his extremely short height. He scored 223 marks in NEET against 86 cut-off marks required for his category. He underwent medical test as per statute of MCI and its panel rejected it without assigning any reason.
When he appeared again before a panel of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital after requesting the authority to rethink his candidature, he was rejected again. His final recourse was the Supreme Court, which gave him justice on October 22. However, as the legal procedure lingered and admission process in the state had concluded, the SC asked the authority to secure his admission in next academic year.
“I will wait for a year to accomplish my dream and get admission in Bhavnagar Medical College as it is my native,” Ganesh said.
The boy’s father Vitthalbhai was once offered Rs 1lakh by a circus operator to use him as a clown. The scared father stopped sending him out alone. The trustee of the school came as a saviour.
“The first time I saw him, he was passionate about his dream. I also found him brilliant, so I decided to invest my time on his study,” said Katariya who didn’t take a penny for his higher education, lodging and food at Nilkanth Vidhyapith in Talaja which he runs.
“I consider him as my second child and will continue to support him until he becomes the medical practitioner. I will continue supporting him during MBBS study and that was the only reason we decided to take admission in Bhavnagar Medical College despite being eligible for any other medical college,” he said.
Classmates and fellow villagers teased him as a midget, but he never lost confidence. “My fellow students and people used to make fun of me and I continue to be the butt of jokes. I hope things would be different in graduation and if people continue to laugh at me, I will courageously face them too,” the beaming 17-year-old said.
“Ganesh and another student Heena Merashiya, both PH category students, will get admission next year as per the SC order,” said Dr Jignesh Chauhan, member of the medical admission committee.
For now, Ganesh is sharpening his English language skills before his MBBS begins next year. His wish is to become a skin specialist in PG study.