Meet Arbaaz Alam. His father ekes out a living selling eggs on the roadside in the Bihar Sharief locality of Nalanda district. Then there is Aditya Anand, son of Gautam Pandey who works as a labourer at some factory. Or even Kundan Kumar. His father Manoj Kumar Verma has a roadside clothshop. And let us not forget Abhishek Kumar whose father is a priest. How about the twins, Sumit Raj and Subham Raj whose father runs a small hardware shop? Each of the kids at the #RamanujanSchoolOfMathematics comes from an economically backward class and have got awe inspiring tales to recount. It is only through sheer grit, determination and hard work that all these #Super30 candidates have been able to crack the #IIT-JEE. And without a doubt they all owe it to Anand Kumar, a Maths teacher from the state of #Bihar who started this pathbreaking educational program in the year 2002.
Anand Kumar knew all there was to know about poverty. His father was a clerk in the postal department who could not afford private schooling for his children. But Kumar was no ordinary kid. It was while studying in a Hindi medium government school that he developed a keen interest in #Mathematics and after graduating he secured an admission in the prestigious #CambridgeUniversity. But the untimely death of his father and the financial condition of his family put paid to his dreams. He would study vigorously during the day and go around with his mother every evening selling papad (or Papadum as some call it) to make ends meet. It was around this time that Kumar started a small institute titled The Ramanujan School of Mathematics with just two students but within two to three years this number rose to about 500. The turning point came in the year 2000 when a student approached Kumar seeking coaching for the IIT-JEE but being poor could not afford to pay Kumar. Thus was born the idea for #Super30.
In the year 2002, The Ramanujan School of Mathematics started competitive tests for students hailing from economically weaker sections of the society and the best of them, thirty to be exact, were enrolled in the Super 30 program. As part of this Super 30 program, for one year Kumar provides free food & lodging for these students while coaching them (even providing all relevant study material) to crack the IIT-JEE. It is said that Kumar’s mother herself cooks food for these students while his brother manages the day-to-day affairs. In the last 15 years close to 400 (396 to be exact) of 450 students who enrolled for the Super 30 have cracked the IIT-JEE which is a success ratio of about 88%. What makes this achievement special is that the IIT-JEE admits only 8000 students out of about six million odd who apply every year and it is known as one of the toughest entrance examinations in the world.
As word about Super 30 spread far and wide, Kumar has been bestowed with accolades and awards. The man who could not afford a foreign education due to his humble background has been invited by reputed universities like #MIT and #Harvard to speak about his pioneering efforts in the field of education. Government organisations and private institutions from all over the world have offered to provide Kumar with financial assistance but he has politely declined. Nor does he accept any donations for his noble endeavour. To this day it is by running evening classes in Patna that his team raises the funds needed for Super 30. Speaking to the press after his Super 30 had yet again miraculously scored a 100% thisyear, Kumar felt this was the opportune moment to take his Super 30 to other parts of the country.
More power to you, Mr Kumar. May your tribe grow.