During her school days, Manju Biju's dream was to become a doctor. A career in nursing never crossed her mind even once. But now, Manju, who was a brilliant student, is more than happy on her decision to not pursue a career in medicine though she got admission to the MBBS course.
Manju had topped the all-India military nursing training and joined the Bengaluru Command Hospital (Air Force) as a Lieutenant.
Manju, hailing from Maradu in Ernakulam district, completed her schooling till Class X at Kendriya Vidyalaya in Kadavantra. She passed the Class X exams in flying colours by securing A+ grade in all subjects. When her father Biju, a government employee, got an official transfer to Ottapalam in Palakkad district, Manju joined Kendriya Vidyalaya there.
At that time, she used to attend the medical entrance coaching classes every Sunday at Thevara in Ernakulam district as her aim was to become a doctor.
Manju's friend Rima informed her that there was an advert inviting applications for a course in military nursing. But Manju was reluctant to forward an application as she always wanted to be a doctor and didn’t knew anything about military nursing.
But Rima moved applications on behalf of Manju and nine other friends for the military nursing course.
“I only remember signing the application,” says Manju.
She got an interview call from Air Force’s School of Military Nursing in Bengaluru but decided not to attend the interview as the medical entrance was just round the corner. But later she decided to give it a go.
Returns with firm conviction
Though it was a one-day interview, Manju had to stay back in Bengaluru for another four days for medical tests as she cleared the interview. The five-day stay in Bengaluru was an eye-opener for Manju about a career in military nursing.
The 250 girl students, only girls can apply for the military nursing course, selected from across the country don’t have to pay any tuition fees, and got free lodging and food. After successful completion of the training, they would be inducted into hospitals under Army, Navy or Air Force with a hefty pay cheque.
Manju took a firm decision that she would choose a career in military nursing if she was selected. Meanwhile, she appeared for the medical entrance examination too.
No to MBBS
Manju secured high marks in the medical entrance examination and got admission in a medical college in Karnataka. Though parents wanted Manju to study MBBS, she stood firm with her decision to pursue a career in military nursing. Later, Manju joined the military nursing course as she found place on the first rank list of the prestigious course.
Manju, who completed the course as a topper, said that she never thought that she would get first rank in the military nursing examinations.
Military nursing is taught in five centres, including Bengaluru, in the country. Manju is happy that she brought first rank to the Bengaluru centre after a very long time.