An 18-year-old non-resident Indian (NRI) girl originally from Gujarat has become an unlikely source of inspiration for millions of aspiring doctors. Born to middle-class parents in Oman, Mitali Kothiya remained undeterred by the high fees at medical colleges there, and fulfilled her dreams of studying medicine back in her own country with the help of coaching in Kota.
Originally from Kunkav village in Amreli, Gujarat, Mitali Kothiya did her schooling from a CBSE-affiliated private school in Muscat, Oman, where her father Kishore Kothiya worked as a clerk in a construction company.
Her family had moved and settled in the middle- eastern country around 25 years ago, when her grandfather was a vegetable farmer there.
Always among the top performers in school, Mitali secured 95.4% in Class 12 and placed second overall in Oman. However, her dreams of studying medicine proved to be beyond her means in Oman — a fiveyear MBBS course would have set her family back an amazing ` 80 lakh.
“A large number of NRI students are studying in CBSE schools in Oman, but due to high fees in medical colleges, student from middle-class families are unable to take admission there,” Mitali’s father Kishore says.
Undeterred, however, she moved to back to Gujarat in 2014 and cleared the Pre-Medical Test (PMT), scoring 90 out of 120 in the competitive exam. Her NRI status prevented her from securing a place in the medical college. It was around this time that she heard about the coaching institutes in Kota and later joined Allen Career Institute with scholarship to prepare for arguably the toughest competitive exams — the AIIMS examination.
“Despite being so far away from home, I got confidence from the open session at the coaching institute for appearing in the AIIMS Examination,” she says.
Mitali went on clear the exam with flying colours, achieving the AIR 449, and is now among the lucky few to be studying at All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS)- Patna. Her father says she now hopes to do her masters in neurology.
Brajesh Maheshwari, director, Allen Career Institute in Kota, says Mitali’s success story has given a new ray of hope to NRI students from middle-class families to pursue their dreams.