Dozens of coaching classes put topper Shoaib’s photo, all claiming he was their student

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)-UG 2020 results were declared by NTA(National Testing Agency) on October 16. As soon as the results were announced, two candidates Delhi’s Akanksha Singh and Orissa’s Soyeb Aftab surprised everyone by scoring full marks 720/720 with 99.99 percentile.

While Akanksha has been given 2nd rank, Soyeb has been declared topper due to NEET’s tie-breaker policy where preference is given to the candidate who is older in age.

Meanwhile, several coaching institutes including Aakash DNP, Gravity, Etoosininda, Pathfinder, and Sri Chaitanya Leadership have released advertisements with Soyeb as the face of the ad, insinuating that he took coaching from their institute.

But which institute did 18-year-old Soyeb join for NEET preparation? In an interview to IANS, he said that he took coaching from Allen Career Institute. He added that he put the time during the pandemic when he was confined to his home to study well. According to a few reports though, Soyeb was a classroom student of Allen but had also enrolled into a distance course, from Aakash and Sri Chaitanya institutes. But many others of course have claimed that he was their student without any apparent contribution.

Soyeb’s father is a businessman and his mother is a homemaker. Soyeb is the first in his family to pursue his dream career in medical sciences.

“I did my schooling till Class 10 in Rourkela. I had decided to become a doctor in Class9-10. So, I asked my father to facilitate my coaching in Kota and my parents supported me to take admission in Allen Career Institute in Kota,” Soyeb said.

Soyeb further said in the interview that he was good in studies but not exceptionally good. “I used a smartphone normally as there was no study pressure. But I concentrated more on studies that helped me score big,” Soyeb said as he advised aspiring candidates to use smartphones only to enhance their knowledge of their subjects.

Soyeb’s mother moved from Odisha to Kota in Rajasthan and helped her son to fulfil his dream. The teen said that apart from coaching and school, he used to give around 3 hours for self-study. During holidays, he devoted 13-14 hours at a stretch to studies.

The Odisha lad now aspires to get admission in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. “I want to take admission in AIIMS for research programmes. After MBBS, I want to do specialisation in cardiology,” said Soyeb.

You don’t need a magic wand to become successful in life. All that you require is the willingness to succeed, the will to do things, the ability to move on and the perseverance to try even when there are failures. If you have all these abilities, you can succeed in life and Soyeb Aftab is now an inspiration to all boys.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.