Tuphan Barik is from a small village called Khickka in West Bengal, India. His parents are farm workers who earn just about two thousand rupees a month — that is, when they can actually find work. There are many such people in rural India who are only seasonally employed; as a result, not guaranteed their next meal. Coming from such a background, under normal circumstances, Tuphan would have become a farm help adding his bit to the meager family income. But that is not what happened. The 21-year-old is a bright student who had cleared his class X with 89.25%, appeared for the Joint Entrance Examination for a medical seat. Today, he is doing his MBBS 1st year at the renowned R.G.Kar Medical College in West Bengal. How did Tuphan, from a very poor family, rise himself to a medical college like R.G. Kar?
That story begins when Narayana Hospitals (NH) founded by the legendary Dr. Devi Shetty, took up an experimental idea: doctors in urban areas are not willing to take up non-lucrative jobs in the rural areas. Instead of courting them, go to the grassroots level. Provide scholarships to bright students from rural India who have serious financial constraints, enable them to pursue a career on medicine and mentor them from the age of 13. The first phase of the program, at the time called Udayer Pathey (On the Path to the Dawn) was launched in West Bengal in 2007. That is where Tuphan comes from. By the way, Tuphan means the ‘storm’.
Let us now fast forward. On 12th December, 2014 Narayana Hrudayalaya and Mindtree joined hands to launch the same program under the name Udaan in Karnataka. Udaan will provide children from rural areas with scholarships and end-to-end financial support, right from their 9th standard in high school, until they complete their MBBS. During these years, Udaan will guide and mentor them along the way. Towards this, 1423 children from 36 schools in Kanakapura Taluk, Karnataka participated in the initial screening and of these 56 have been shortlisted. Mindtree Foundation is proud to be associated with Narayana Hrudayalaya Charitable Trust.
On 12th December, in the presence of Dr. Devi Shetty and Mindtree leaders, the children and their parents visited Mindtree where they received their scholarship certificates.
Click here to see pictures of the launch of Udaan.