The son of a ragpicker from Madhya Pradesh, who reserved a place for himself at AIIMS-Jodhpur after cracking one of the toughest medical entrance examinations, has been receiving attention and appreciation ever since the result was declared. And today, cheers came from Rahul Gandhi.
In the letter of encouragement for Asharam Choudhary, the Congress President said his dedication and hard work reminded him of Mahatma Gandhi who had said "Strength does not come from physical activity. It comes from the indomitable will."
"I am aware that despite all the challenges you were able to secure a good rank," the letter added.
Asharam Choudhary, who lives with his family in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district, cracked the AIIMS examination in his first attempt. There was no electricity at his home and he studied by candlelight. He had to walk several yards to use the toilet.
His sweat translated into 707 all-India rank and rank 141 in the OBC category. He also cleared the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and got the 803 rank in the OBC category.
After MBBS, he wants to pursue surgery and wishes to return to his village as a neurosurgeon.
"I want to return to Vijayganj Mandi (village) and set up a hospital so that no one is deprived of medical facilities," he said before leaving for Jodhpur today.
More than his determination to help his family, it was the commendable efforts of a village doctor that motivated Asharam to pursue medicine.
"We do not have sufficient money, and depend on help from others. We are proud of his hard work," the 18-year-old's father, who collects and sells junk for a living, said.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who congratulated him on phone, assured that the state government will take care of his education.
"It gave me immense pleasure to note how your village doctors and parents inspired you in your journey. I hope one day you will also be in a position to inspire other young children to take the medical profession and serve the people of India," Mr Gandhi said in the letter.
The Congress leader signed off with a hope that the "bright son of a ragpicker" will contribute towards building the nation.