'I promise to try and become a good doctor'

Nair College student who went missing in Sept and surfaced after 13 days has resumed attending lectures; admitted that he was unable to cope with studies 

When 19-year-old medical student Akshay Meshram suddenly disappeared from Nair medical College in September, all his teachers, relatives and friends feared the worst ('Another fresher vanishes from Nair medical college', September 26). Not one of them expected him to return, dust himself off, pick up the pieces and move on. Defying all odds, however, the young boy has returned with a vengeance to his books, having resolved to give medicine another go.

Sabbatical: During his 13-day self-imposed exile, Akshay Meshram
visited holy spots like Alandi in Pune, Haridwar in Uttarakhand,

and Asaram Bapu's ashram in Ahmedabad. FILE PIC

The young medical student has now pushed his nose to the grindstone and is busy reading up to cope up with the syllabus that he missed during his sabbatical. Speaking to MiD DAY, Meshram said, "I was tired of attending regular lectures, and decided to leave everything. But I am back now, and have made a promise not only to my teachers, but also to myself, that I will become a dedicated doctor and work hard to achieve my dream."

Meshram also admitted that the grinding life of a medical student had taken a toll on him, compelling him to abandon his books and seek an escape route. Meshram - who is a first year MBBS student - had walked away from college on September 22, plunging police into a flurry of sleuthing, as he was the second medical student from the college to go missing in a span of 10 months. In December 2010, Satyendra Singh, a first-year MBBS student from Agra also went missing. The police are yet to find him.

Meshram's friends, however, had correctly gauged that the boy had been unable to cope with the rigours of medical training and simply needed a break.

Thirteen days later, Meshram returned to his home in Gadchiroli. Repentant for having caused such panic back home, Meshram confided in his father Ashok, admitting that he was tired of studying, and was afraid of getting poor marks, as he had missed some lectures.

"When he was a student in junior college, he only had classes in the afternoon, but when he signed up for an MBBS, he had to wake up early for classes. As he was not used to it, he ended up missing lectures. He was afraid that he would not be able to cope up and clear the backlog, and so decided to leave," said Ashok.

Online on FB
Even during his disappearance, Meshram stayed active on Facebook, promising to return home soon. He toured holy places to find an answer to his niggling self-doubt; he moved from Alandi in Pune, to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, and ended his pilgrimage in Asaram Bapu's ashram in Ahmedabad.

"We have counselled him after he rejoined college. He is now trying to catch up with what he has missed, and we have asked him to consult any of his teachers, if he needs help," said Dr Ravi Rannavre, dean, Nair hospital.
Hostel warden Dr Sandeep Bhete, said, "Akshay has promised never to repeat what he did. All the teachers are approachable, but at times it's difficult to gauge what is going on in the minds of these students. We hope that the other student also returns soon."

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