From Patna’s Streets to IIT Seats – Anand Kumar’s Super 30 Success Story

Anand Kumar, hailing from Patna, Bihar, is a prominent Indian mathematician and educator renowned for his Super 30 program i.e., the special coaching classes for JEE- Main and Advanced, that transformed the lives of many students belonging to disadvantaged communities.

Anand kumar super 30 success story

Super 30 Founder Anand Kumar’s Passion for Mathematics:

Born on January 1, 1973, in Patna, Bihar, Kumar grew up in a modest household with his father working as a clerk in the postal department. He attended a Hindi medium government school and took a deep interest in mathematics from a young age. While studying in college, he wrote papers that got published in reputed journals like the Mathematical Spectrum. He had a bright future ahead of him, but his family’s financial constraints caused major hurdles in his career and life.

With all his hard work, Anand got through Cambridge University, England for higher studies. However, fate had some other plans. Due to his family’s ongoing financial crisis and his father’s sudden demise, his family became destitute and he had to give up on his dreams. Their condition was such that he had to start selling papads with his mother to sustain their livelihood. He faced the harsh reality of social disparities and inequalities that put him in that situation.

The Birth of Super 30:

Anand Kumar’s passion for mathematics remained constant even after the setbacks. He began teaching mathematics by renting a classroom at 300 INR per month and named the institute Ramanujan School of Mathematics (RSM). With only two students, his institute started in 1992. But it didn’t take him long to establish the name with his relentless dedication and commitment. Within a short period of time, his institution’s enrolment significantly grew, bearing the fruits of his efforts.

One day, an underprivileged student approached him seeking JEE guidance because they couldn’t afford to enrol in lessons elsewhere. This incident motivated Kumar to start the Super 30 program, launching the initiative in 2002, which sought to offer free JEE coaching each year to 30 students from economically weaker sections along with providing food, accommodation, and study materials free of cost.

Also read: Drawing Inspiration From The Founder Of Super77, Amit Pandey, aka “Human Charger”

Nurturing Potential of Super 30 students

18 out of 30 students who received coaching in the first year got selected to IITs. Due to the program’s increased popularity the next year, there was a written test to choose the final 30 students. The number of students who were accepted into IITs increased from 22 out of 30 in 2004 to 26 out of 30 in 2005, boosting the program’s popularity and drawing in more applicants. From 2003 to 2017, 391 out of 450 students from Anand Kumar’s program got admitted to the IITs.

Kumar’s resilience and spirit made him stand tall, overcome his struggles and emerge as a success in the face of numerous challenges. Choosing an unconventional path like this was tough for him. From managing funds and convincing the parents of the students, to overcoming the stigma of the people regarding the underprivileged students, it was a real task for him to make them see what was best for the children. Anand Kumar does not get financial assistance from public or private entities for his noble initiative. He runs his program on the tuition fees he receives from the Ramanujan School.

National and International Recognition:

With the Super 30 program achieving outstanding results, it has garnered popularity and praise from everywhere. Super 30 found recognition on Time Magazine’s The Best of Asia 2010 list and received a commendation from Rashad Hussain, the special envoy of US President Barack Obama, who hailed it as the premier institute in the nation. Newsweek Magazine also acknowledged Super 30, listing it among the Four Most Innovative Schools globally.

In 2009, Super 30 was featured in a one-hour program on Discovery Channel, and The New York Times dedicated half a page to Kumar. The following year, Kumar received the Prof. Yashwantrao Kelkar Yuva Puraskar award from ABVP in Bangalore. In 2010, Anand Kumar was honoured with the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Shiksha Puraskar, the highest accolade bestowed by the Bihar state government for exceptional contributions to education. President Ram Nath Kovind also honoured Kumar with the “Rashtriya Bal Kalyan Award.”

Kumar had his biography authored by Canada-based author, Biju Mathew. The Bollywood film “Super 30,” starring Hrithik Roshan as Anand Kumar, brought his story to the big screen and served as an inspiration. In 2023, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri for his contributions to literature and education.

Anand Kumar’s story is one filled with hope, compassion, and willpower to bring real change into society. From facing dire financial constraints to bringing a revolutionary change, his legacy goes beyond just academic achievements and serves as an inspiration to work for the less fortunate and contribute our bit towards creating an equitable society.

Also read: Transforming Indian Education for Global Competitiveness – insights by Ashoka University Founders

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