This is, Mr.Anand Kumar of Chandpur Bela (Patna, Bihar state) an Indian mathematician and a columnist for various national and international mathematical journals and magazines. He is best known for his "Super-30" programme, which he started in Patna in 2002 - He coaches economically backward students for IIT-JEE.
Failure is the stepping stone to Success
His dream of pursuing higher studies at Cambridge University was terminated by financial difficulties. He says, "I knocked at many doors in 1994-1995. seeking sponsorship to study at Cambridge. I sought help from the then Bihar Government. But, nobody helped me and I could not fulfil my dream"! This failure sprouted a faint flicker of hope and the hope became a dream. This dream has not only come true for him but for many who dared not to dream big. Today Anand Kumar is the proud brain behind Super 30, the free IIT coaching centre for talented poor students in Patna which has been hitting the national headlines two years in a row for its 100 per cent success rate.
After his failure to make it to Cambridge due to financial difficulties, Anand Kumar started teaching Mathematics in 1992. He took a room for a monthly rent of Rs.500 and began his own institute, the "Ramanujam School of Mathematics". Within a year, his class grew from 2 students to 36 and after 3 years there were almost 500 students enrolled!
In early 2000, a poor student approached Anand Kumar seeking coaching for IIT-JEE - but, he didn't have money to pay for the fee, due to poverty. The poor student told Anand Kumar, "I can't afford the full fee. I will give you Rs.1,500 now and after my father sells his crop of potatoes six months later, I can give you another Rs.500"! Anand Kumar was moved by his plight and decided to start the Super 30 programme in 2003.
The journey and success
Since 2003, in the month of August every year, the Ramanujan School of Mathematics (now a trust), conducts an entrance test to select 30 students for the ‘Super 30’ scheme. Nearly 4,000 to 5,000 students appear at the test - 30 of them (Intelligent students from economically backward sections) are selected.
Anand trains them, provides study materials and free accomodation for a year. He prepares them for the IIT-JEE Exam. His mother Jayanti Devi, looks after the kitchen and his brother Pranav Kumar takes care of the management. During 2003-2009, 182 students out of 210 have made it to the IITs. In 2010, all 30 students of Super 30 cleared IIT JEE entrance making it a hattrick (three in a row). Anand Kumar hasn't taken any financial help from government as well as private agencies- he manages with the tuition fee he gets from the Ramanujam Institute. After the success of Super 30 and its growing popularity, he got many offers from the private – both national and international companies and also from the government for financial help. But he always refused it. He wanted to sustain Super 30 through his own efforts. After three consecutive 30/30 results in 2008-2010, in 2011, 24 of the 30 students cleared IIT JEE.
- In March 2009, "Discovery Channel" broadcasted a 1-hour programme on Super 30.
- "The New York Times" has published half a page article on Super-30.
- "Time Magazine" has selected mathematician Anand Kumar's school - Super 30 - in the list of "Best of Asia 2010".
- Actress and ex-Miss Japan Norika Fujiwara visited Patna to make a documentary on Anand Kumar’s initiatives.
- Anand Kumar has been featured in programmes by the BBC.
- He has spoken about his experiences at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.
- Anand Kumar is in the Limca Book of Records (2009) for his contribution in helping poor students crack IIT-JEE by providing them free coaching.
- Anand Kumar was awarded the S.Ramanujan Award for 2010 by the Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS) in July 2010.
- Super 30 received praise from United States President Barack Obama's special envoy Rashad Hussain, who termed it the “Best Institute" in the country.
- "Newsweek Magazine" has taken note of the initiative of mathematician Anand Kumar’s Super 30 and included his school in the list of four "Most Innovative schools" in the world.
- Bihar Government has awarded "Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Shiksha Puraskar" for November 2010 to Anand Kumar.
- He was awarded the "Prof Yashwantrao Kelkar Yuva Puraskar 2010" by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Bangalore.
- In April 2011, Anand Kumar was selected by Europe's magazine Focus as "One of the global personalities who have the ability to shape exceptionally talented people".
- Anand Kumar also helped Amitabh Bachchan in preparing for his role in the film Aarakshan.
- Many people from Bollywood including renowned directors and producers are interested in making a movie on the life of Anand Kumar .