Super30: An Ode to My Mentor

Super 30

“I owe everything to you.”

Rahul Kumar, 19.

These were the words to his teacher Anand Kumar after he cleared the IIT entrance exam. Anand Kumar, in the 90s secured admission to Cambridge University, but could not attend because of his father’s death and his financial condition. Kumar would work on Mathematics during day time and would sell papads in evenings with his mother, who had started a small business from home, to support her family.He also tutored students in maths to earn extra money. For his own study, he would travel every weekend on a six-hour journey to Varanasi, since Patna University did not have foreign journals. Anand’s younger brother was living in a hostel room in Varanasi and was learning violin under N. Rajam. Thus he would spend Saturday and Sunday at the Central Library, BHU and return to Patna on Monday morning. Having witnessed extreme financial hardship since childhood, he felt the pangs of poverty so much that he decided to do something for the poor students. This led to the birth of ‘Ramanujam School of Mathematics’. Here he trained a small group of students for various competitive examinations at a very nominal fee. For those who were extremely poor and were in no position to pay even the small amount, money was never a constraint. They just did not have to pay anything. After some time, Anand decided to shape his program by starting the innovative Super 30.

They select 30 meritorious talents from among the backward classes of the society, especially in Bihar but until now, via selection tests. Anand Kumar would then hone their skills and prepare them to crack the IIT-JEE. Anand Kumar’s Mother, Jayanti Devi, volunteered to cook for the students while Anand tutored them, and also provided study materials and lodging for a year. Gathering funds to teach, feed and provide shelter to these poor students would have been a tough job for anyone but Anand Kumar. But as they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Following the popularity and success of Super 30, many individuals and institutions came forward to assist financial assistance to Super 30 providing for better infrastructure, for accommodating more students, etc. However, the team decided to continue their efforts without any external financial assistance and restrict the number of students to 30.

And the results of his hardwork came in the form of commendations & felicitations. To name a few of them, The Times Magazine, in 2010, selected his Super 30 in the list of ‘Best of Asia’. Same was the year when the U.S. President Barak Obama’s special envoy Rashad Hussian mentioned it as the country’s best institute. Additionally, Newsweek Magazine declared Super 30 as the most innovative schools in the world and in 2010, Bihar Government conferred Anand Kumar the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Shiksha Puraskar.

There is no question of competition for him as long as his motives are clear and concerned. No other coaching institute in India offers free coaching to the deprived yet that too in a manner Anand Kumar does. As miraculous are his intentions and his services to the society, so is he; Miraculous indeed!

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