Prateek Awasthi

In my 12th board, I had the top grades in the district, hence my parents had high hopes for me. I wanted to be a doctor so I shifted to city and joined NEET Coaching classes. I was extremely confident and knew that I would be able to crack it easily but eventually I realized that everybody was topper of their village/school in my coaching class. 

I had come from a vernacular medium school and NEET preparation was in English. It was difficult for me to adjust. After a lot of efforts, I finally managed to obtain higher grades in my class. But what followed next was beyond my expectations. I got migraine issues. With numerous doctor appointments, everything seemed like failing. I was taking ten to twelve pills a day. I once lost my temper at the doctor thinking he was just wasting my time as I was not getting any better.

2 Years passed. I was not able to study. I failed my parents but they were happy that at least I was able to recover from my migraine issues. I returned to my village and after 6 months everybody started asking – “Aage ka kya plan hai?” (What’s your next plan?) 

Once again, I went to Kanpur and started doing what most of the youth does – from a NEET aspirant to a government job aspirant. After 3 years I was able to pass preliminary exams but mains was still far-fetched. One day, I felt pain in my lower back, I thought it was normal. But with every passing day it went on increasing. The doctor told me that it was a ‘Slip Disc’. I felt so frustrated that I started blaming God.

“Why you always give me such kind of health issues; can’t you give me a normal fever, cold?”

I underwent an operation, ‘a risky one’. Then I had to undergo 6 months of bed rest. I was not allowed to move during sleep and it made me more restless.

I was back in my village. Many people used to come to my home and meet me. They also started playing cards at my place and it became an ‘adda’ for my friends. A few months later, the Gram Panchayat election was announced in UP. My well-wishers, who had turned my room into an adda, encouraged me to contest in this election because my village had never seen a young generation in the post of Gram Pradhan. We thought, it was time for a change. I couldn’t contest because I was bedridden. Hence, I asked my cousin to contest and he agreed. It was March, 2020 when the pandemic hit. The election and other activities were stopped. My village was like a corona hotspot. So, our team started helping people in team. We used to take 3 patients in a day to city hospital when no one was helping them. In mid-April, my resting period had ended. I also started helping people from arranging transportation to the hospital to providing medicines. Whatever we could contribute, we did. I was the chief strategist as I understood politics better. Nobody believed that we could win. But we won by 35 Votes. Until the result was declared other contestants never considered us as a serious opponent. Now we have completed 1 year of our tenure.

Amidst all that, I lost interest in the study. This social service can’t pay the bills. Today, I am working as a Labor supervisor in a Factory apart from holding the position of Gram Panchayat Sadasya and preparing for the Zila Panchayat election.

Total Work Experience : 2 Years (Kaasi Sales)

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