It might take a long time for the accused in the Vyapam scam to be brought to book, but for many medical students of Madhya Pradesh, it hardly matters as they feel they have lost their precious years which no one can compensate.
“I have lost some precious time due to this scam. I gave five years of my life just to be a doctor. Twice I got a waiting number of 6 and 14, but could not clear it because I was not wealthy enough to bribe people,” said 25-year-old Poonam Sharma.
A part of the group ‘Justice for PMT’, Sharma and two others had gone on a hunger strike in December 2013 demanding a CBI inquiry into the scam and re-allotment of seats.
“We were on the streets for a week. We were given false promises and assurances on things wherein nothing happened. We were students who could not fight for long, so we succumbed and the government won,” said Sharma.
Voicing the mental trauma she underwent as she prepared for her three attempts, Sharma, who is now a first-year MBBS student at SAIIMS, Indore, said: “I started questioning my competency. There were times when I would feel that perhaps I can never be a doctor. I would feel that I am not smart enough to clear PMT, whereas in reality people were purchasing seats.”
Watch: The AtoZ of the Vyapam scam:
A similar story is that of 21-year-old Krishna Morya, a resident of Morena. Living his medical dream after three attempts, her name figured second in the waiting list in 2013.
It was the year when the admission of 92 medical students was cancelled on the grounds of involvement in Vyapam scam.
“I would have made it to medical college a year earlier had this scam not occurred. I feel like a fool when I realise that while I was putting in 13-14 hours of time in a coaching institute learning things, people were making the cut by just dolling out extra money.”
Indifferent to the entire matter of whether a CBI probe would be instituted or not, Zakir Husain, another PMT aspirant and a member of the group, said: “I could not take an admission in a private college as the fees was too high. I was in the waiting list twice. In 2013, I had the waiting number of one under army quota, still I could not get in. So I waited, studied and tried again. How many students would have done that?”