India’s Best teachers: Anand Kumar

What defines Anand Kumar, A national hero, a teacher, a globally recognized face, his work covered by discovery channel, The New York Times, Newsweek Magazine, invited by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Stanford and more and an inspiration behind a movie on his life and Super 30 programme.

Anand Kumar has a story which stands the test of time and is an epitome of grit, hard work and pure inspiration. He has now a Wikipedia page and his program as well Anand life is well known to everyone,  For the last 14 years, Kumar has been coaching underprivileged children for the IIT-JEE entrance exams free of cost. He lives in Patna, Bihar.

Anand had humble beginnings, his father was a post office clerk in Bihar and since private education is expensive so, Anand Kumar studied at a Hindi medium government school. In spite of getting educated in Hindi, it didn’t stop him to submit papers on Numbers Theory During graduation that were published in UK's Mathematical Spectrum and The Mathematical Gazette.

He was so good at maths that he was selected for the Cambridge University in 1994, it is the same time when his father suddenly passed away.  He left his dream and To support the family he started tuitions to the students.

During those years at the age of 22, he rented a classroom for Rs 500 a month and started teaching and named his school as Ramanujan School of Mathematics. Word of mouth spread and the classroom strength grew from 2 to 36 within a year. Within few years he had 500 students in his school and although the fees was nominal Rs. 1500/year which comes out to be only $23 few students were so poor that couldn’t afford that. These students were bright and capable of achieving much more but financial conditions were restricting them to make it big in life.

Then came the idea of super 30 and started with students from the poor background, provided them with food, boarding and lodging and prepare them for IIT entrance exams. While his brother looked at the day to day affairs at the institute, his mother cooked food for the students.

Initial success came when 22 out of 30 students made it to IIT and with this success came death threats, attacks one of the staff members was stabbed and all this because he was breaking the stereotype. The flourishing business of coaching in Patna was getting hurt and he was the target. This didn’t deter him from running the program and he now moves around with security.

He says “Change will come when teachers have the passion to teach, It's ironical that while parents want their children to have great teachers, they don't want their children to become teachers!”. The reason behind this is that teachers are not paid well. The education system has to reform to get better teachers and have them well paid. He is passionate about teaching and thinks the time for change has come. He now dreams of setting up a chain of free schools across the country, similar to super 30 with free food and stay. Intake will be children from Class 5 to up to Class 12  and it will be not just for IIT but Olympiad tests in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

During the last few years all 30 of 30 students made it to various IIT’s. During to high demand for intake Anand is taking the course online with I scholar. Check details here.

Anand Kumar has a movie coming based on his life and played by none other than Hrithik Roshan. The Movies is directed by Vikas Bahl and will be called Super 30.

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