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Penalty waiver for braveheart

The state health department has waived a Rs 1lakh penalty so that a rickshawpuller’s son can switch streams and study to become a neurologist.

Palash Haldar, 21, cracked the state medical entrance examination for the second time this year so that he could quit the course he was studying at Burdwan Dental College and pursue his dream of becoming a neurologist.

His rank (301 in the Scheduled Caste category) was good enough for admission to an MBBS course — which he must complete to specialise in neurology at the postgraduate level — but the boy from Halisahar did not have the means to pay the Rs 1lakh penalty slapped on students switching from a dental to a medical college and vice versa.

Palash’s father has a debilitating neurological problem and his mother works as a cook to make ends meet. Metro had reported the student’s plight in June.

The waiver has allowed Palash to join first-year MBBS classes at Sagar Dutta Memorial Medical College and Hospital at Kamarhati, North 24-Parganas. Rotary Club provided him with the admission fee.

“Government institutions are averse to bending rules but we decided to make an exception for Palash,” said Sushanta Banerjee, the director of medical education.

He met the youth and ascertained through an inquiry that he indeed was poor.