Last year, Machani Hemalatha sat for EAMCET and got the 245th rank. That would have got her a place in one of the state-run medical colleges but she was disqualified. The Medical Council of India (MCI) ruled that she was underaged as per its norms. A year later, she took the exam again, and proved a point. She took the top slot in this year's exam. Neither happenstances nor the limited means of her father, a clothing salesman in Joharapuram locality in Kurnool, were hindrances to the girl. She just had to become a neurologist.
She had been just one month short of the minimum age required of EAMCET candidates. The matter went to court, but the ruling went against her. Not losing heart, Hemalatha decided to have a go at EAMCET again, and this time she wanted to make a point. "The setback last year increased my determination to top the exam. I am happy I was able to achieve it," she said after the results were released today.
But it was not easy. For five months, she slogged from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. with only brief breaks. The topper said it was all due to her father, M Veeranna, who encouraged her without question. However, it is not certain that Hemalata will accept a place in a medical college in Andhra Pradesh. She has her sights fixed on the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the entrance exam of which is scheduled for May 29. If she had to choose a college in Andhra Pradesh which one would it be? The Kurnool Medical College, of course. It's closest home.
This year's AP EAMCET was something of a girl power story. Girls outperformed boys in the Top Ten. There were six girls among the first 10 ranks. First ranker Machani Hemalata got 156 marks out of 160 in the test and a combined score (EAMCET + Intermediate) of 98.04 per cent. Amaakola Yagna Priya of Hyderabad took the third rank with a score of 153 (CS 96.22), Chitluri Neha of Vijayawada stood fourth with 152 marks (CS 96.21) while Sahithi Savitri Sonti of Hyderabad stood sixth (152). Two other girls, Pediredla Sailaja of Visakhapatnam stood seventh, and Balabhadra Greeshma Meenan of Parakala, Warangal was eighth, both getting 150 marks.
The quote of the day was provided by Hemalata's father, M Veeranna. His three daughters have all made it to med school. "I'm blessed with three beautiful and intelligent daughters. They have proved time and again they are no less that anybody."