Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nothing is impossible - Anand Kumar Says so

When you want it that much more...

All the poor Bihar kids in the Super 30, got into IIT, this year. What is the secret?

Nagendra, 18, the son of a sweeper, studied in the free government village school and was always 'first' in class. He hated the sight of seeing his father cleaning sewers and vowed he wouldn't do that. Borrowed Rs. 60 to buy the Super 30 application form, to join Ramanujam School of Mathematics.

Satish Kumar, 18, who lives in a slum, with his widowed mother, says, ' I had resolved to overcome every obstacle that came my way to rise to the top'. He too, is a student of this School.

The names of children like these - all the 30 of them - who wrote the IIT JEE exam this year, from this school, appeared alongside India's highest scorers, giving them automatic entry into any of the IIT's, considered the nation's premier temples of higher learning, entry into which is also still regarded as a prerogative of the privileged.
I read about Anand Kumar in 'India Today' magazine, some 10 years back, in their 'People with a difference' - if I remember correctly - one page article, which portraits individuals who do something to benefit the local people. He is a mathematics teacher and columnist for various national and international science journals and magazines. He remembers all too clearly that he had to fight hard just to get to use the superior mathematical ability, he realised, he possessed early on in life. 'The Super 30 was born with this idea in mind' explains Anand, who had started the Ramanujam School of Mathematics in the mid-90's.

He wants to ensure that not a single underprivileged boy or girl in Bihar (with exceptional intelligence) is deprived of an opportunity to get ahead because of their lower social and economic condition. Coming from a poor family which depended at one time, on door-to-door sales of homemade 'papads' as its only source of income, Anand is aware that to be born with an extraordinary intelligence quotient alone does not guarantee success in life.

The school is located on the fringes of Patna, beyond the bumpy Bihar roads, past stretches of a treeless landscape with pavement huts and congested slums. The students, who come here to attend classes from Patna and also from faraway villages, make the journey every day by bus, on bicycles or even on foot. Those who stay in the hostels are provided free food and lodging.
No air-conditioned class rooms! No exorbitant fees! But the result is 100% because of the hard work by the students and the teachers.

This article and the photograph is from the current issue of 'Outlook' magazine.

I had read an article in 'Times of India', that nearly 42% of this year's JEE rank holders, did not attend any coaching classes. But did not come across this news about the slum children's ' IIT
dream come true', that too, from Bihar! Let Anand Kumar's children shine and bring happiness to him and all of us.

Edited to add: This is an old article about this school, but interesting.

Edited to add on 26.5.11: This article says: This year, a Truck Driver's son has cracked IIT JEE!

This takes the total number of 'Super 30' students, who have qualified for the IIT-JEE in the last nine years, to 236', Anand said.

Times of India: 24 out of 30 students have cracked IIT JEE, this year (2011)!

Edited on 1st Oct.'14: Anand is invited by MIT and Harward!


Anonymous said...

This is truly inspiring Sandhya :)
I had read about Anand Kumar a long time back..I think in India Today only..and I was very impressed and inspired..

but a few days back I read somewhere that all of this is a way of pretending and gaining fame and that in reality he charges a lot from his other students..

But the optimist in me wants to believe your lines here:)))

Let Anand Kumar's children shine and bring happiness to him and all of us.

Solilo said...

Kudos to all the kids. As for the person, I don't know much about him.

Sandhya said...

indeahforever: Now he has become famous and I think if any discrepancy, which is negative, is there, will come out via our media hounds!

I feel it is not entirely wrong if he charges a hefty sum for people who can afford to pay. He might be using that money to run this school. Some doctors charge a lot for well-off people, as their fee, to help needy people. My relative, who is quite famous, does this. He has got a small clinic to treat them free of cost. I know one gynae also, who has got a separate clinic, for needy people, here in Chennai.

I feel happy when I read this type of articles. Manju also has posted one about Manjunath Integrity award, which acknowledges this type of unique people - http://indiancabbagesandkings.blogspot.com/2009/06/remembering-manjunath-shanmugam.html

Solilo: Yes, their hard work is giving the results.

manju said...

Great post, Sandhya! I, too, had read about Anand Kumar a few years ago. Many underprivileged children seem to have benefited because of his school.

I hope even more such children can achieve success in the coming years with his help.

Sai Charan said...

There is no substitute for hard work; Mr.Anand Kumar is a bright example to everyone who lives for a strong purpose in life.

Hard work, combined with true determination is the straight formula for success in life; there is no need to wait for luck; luck will automatically smile our way :)

Congratulations to the successful "Super 30 Kids" and kudos to their Guru, Mr.Anand.

Thanks for sharing such a nice, interesting and useful piece of information.


Sandhya said...

Manju: Again, this news was not aired in any channel! I have not seen Anand Kumar's interview - but we see all the negative news, being highlighted in each and every channel. In one way, it is good, Anand Kumar can continue his good work without much interference by media or political people (some party will give him a ticket for the next election, if he becomes famous!)

Sai: Yes, Sai. Hard work always pays! It is nice to know that some people are there, who care for others. Some people just sit and appreciate and I am one of them. Am not feeling good to admit that, though, Sai.

Saritha said...

This is really nice and inspiring sandhya

Didn't know much about anand kumar but i salute him for what is doing :)

As sai said hardword always pays.This reminded of my aunty,she has 5 kids and she was not able to afford good schools,they all went to a muncipal school and one of the girl scored 11th rank in state tenth board and all the 5 kids are in USA and all r engineers :)

Anonymous said...

This is truly inspiring! Even if Anand Kumar is corrupt - I don't care - as far as he is doing some good too - which he clearly seems to be.. If he charges a lot from students who can afford it - I think it is fine because he is making a difference..

And so sad that the media gives no importance to such news..

Anonymous said...

Interesting... never knew about this !!

Sandhya said...

Varunavi: My salute to your aunty and her children. We see people like this in our day-to-day life, who are not acknowledged.

Smitha: He needs money to run the school. He is not asking them for donation. He is teaching them too and charges students who can afford to pay. Nothing is wrong in that, I feel, Smitha.

hitchwriter: He was not a filmy person or a politician and so nobody knew him. Or a cricketer!!!!

R. Ramesh said...

yes, truly inspiring..S

kanagu said...

Very very Inspiring one Sandhyaji.. :)

I am happy for all those kids :)

Anonymous said...

yea rite... I open the news paper and go straight to the sports page and fold the paper.. so i wouldnt know... :P :P

Sandhya said...

Ramesh: Yes, Ramesh.

Kanagu: Don't know whether they would be able to cope up the IIT curriculam, but the children have taken a bold step forward with sheer hard work and we should appreciate Anand Kumar, to even think of training these children.

hitchwriter: This news did not come in Hindu or Times of India, as far as I know, I might be wrong. Did you read the Outlook article? Really amazing. He must have struggled a lot for getting this result. His family? Did he spend any time with his family. We don't know anything about his family background!

Kavita Saharia said...

Sandhya.....a very inspirational and motivating story.....if one decides to do something good for others,no mater how adverse are the conditions,it is possible....i salute this lesser known national-hero and all his students.Thanks for sharing this amazing story.

Thanks for your comments...i have answered your question in my post...please wait till next month for this interesting story.

Sandhya said...

Kavitha: you are right. I am waiting to read the story of Brahmaputra!

Saritha said...

Sandhya just noticed that my new post in not getting updated on ur blog :(

Sandhya said...

Varunavi: Yes, since today morning, I am visiting other blogs to check reply for my comments and see new posts in them. But I don't see the update in my blog.

By the way, 'super 30' IIT JEE students' prog. is there in Discovery channel tonight from 8 to 9 pm. Oh, you can't watch. This might be Indian channel.

R. Ramesh said...

S, hi, vanakkam..

Saritha said...

Sandhya i dont get discovery channel here :(

Wini said...

Very inspiring indeed! It is heartening to know that people like Anand Kumar exist! Even in my college, there are many Bihari students who come from poor and uneducated families. Most of them are very intelligent ,are the first graduates in the family and have very big ambitions. Their thirst for knowledge is simply mind blowing!

Congratulations to the kids!

Sandhya said...

Varunavi: I remembered it late, Saritha. I saw the programme. He is a very very ordinary person, with an old mother and brother. Ordinary house, who is not fluent in English. But, he is doing wonders!

Ashwini: Did you watch his prog. yesterday? He is really and genuinely helping natured person. I admire him. Yes, he is training children like the Bihari students, you mentioned.

kanagu said...

No worries Sandhyaji... the environment of IIT will change them into more potent and will get along with the people well :)

Sandhya said...

kanagu: I hope so!All the hard work they have done, should bring good results and they should come up well to prove anybody, who thinks they don't have the facilities to join good colleges, etc. These children are examples of sheer hard work and sincerity to reach their goal.

Sandhya said...

kanagu: I hope so!All the hard work they have done, should bring good results and they should come up well to prove anybody, who thinks they don't have the facilities to join good colleges, etc. These children are examples of sheer hard work and sincerity to reach their goal.

sharada.econtent said...

very interesting! I remember reading about him long back. He is doing a great job. Thanks for the information.

I feel, all who can afford should come forward and do something like this. May not be for many students but at least for one or two. But somehow we will not think about it.

I have been told that Biharis are very intelligent. Good that they have someone like Anand Kumar..

Sandhya said...

Sharu: Biharis are getting luckier now - they have got Anand Kumar and his students too, to continue to help others. This came in the prog. about them in Discovery. The students are devoted students like their teacher. And the Biharis have got a good CM now, Nitish Kumar! Good time for Biharis!

virgo27 said...

hello, i got your url from kavita (my room). i recently did a post on anand kumar and she mentioned you did a post on him too. great post! we need more people like him in the world. here is a link to my blog post about him, http://tinyurl.com/lqzuk3.

the name of my blog is Homebody Blogger and my direct link is, www.homebodyblogger.com. feel free to leave a few comments, become a follower, or pass my link along to others.

Shail said...

You know, this is one of the reasons why I like the present compared to the past. It is possible now more than it could ever have in the past.

Sandhya said...

virgo27: Welcome to my space, Virgo27. I missed to acknowledge you, sorry!

He is doing a very good job. Many students benefited from him. Thank you and let me check your link.

SHAIL MOHAN; Yes! People from all levels can dream now...nothing is impossible. I admire this man a lot. Waiting to watch his movie.

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