ANAND KUMAR – The Math Wizard who founded The Super30
“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution, experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.”
People with resources who give selflessly are hard to come by. But people with nothing who still manage to give selflessly, and dedicate their complete lives in the amelioration of the deprived are no less than the rarest of gems. One such compassionate teacher, who has inspired not just his students, but teachers all around the globe, is Anand Kumar.
Born in Patna, Bihar on 1st January 1973, Anand Kumar didn’t belong to a very prosperous family. His father being a clerk in the postal department of India, naturally could not afford private schooling for his children. So Anand attended a Hindi medium government school, but that didn’t stop him from developing his deep interest in Mathematics. During graduation, Anand submitted papers on Number Theory, which were published in Mathematical Spectrum and The Mathematical Gazette, two of the most esteemed international mathematical magazines.
Almost all young mathematicians, at one point in their lives dream of getting into the Cambridge University, but people who actually get it are one in a thousand. Anand Kumar, overcoming all his life’s obstacles by his unbreakable determination and perseverance, managed to become that one in a thousand, but could not attend because of his father’s untimely death and his family’s deteriorating financial condition.
Anand’s daily routine eventually became working on mathematics during the day and selling papads in the evenings with his mother. He also tutored students in maths to earn a little extra. To develop his own skills, he needed foreign journals that were not available in the Patna University library. Thus, he started traveling every weekend on a six-hour train journey to Varanasi, staying in his younger brother’s hostel room, spending his Saturdays and Sundays at the Central Library, BHU, and returning to Patna on Monday mornings.
In 1992, Anand rented a classroom for Rs. 500 a month and began his own institute, the Ramanujan School of Mathematics (RSM). Unbelievably so, his class grew from two students to thirty-six, in the span of just three years. Then in early 2000, a poor student came to him seeking coaching in IIT-JEE who couldn’t afford the annual admission fee. This is what motivated Kumar to start the Super 30 program in 2002. Since 2002, every year in May, the RSM holds a competitive test to select 30 students for the Super 30 scheme. Anand not only tutors them for the JEE without any fees but also provides study materials and lodging for a year. His mother, Jayanti Devi, cooks for the students and his brother, Pranav Kumar, takes care of the management.
Anand Kumar’s Super 30 has had a staggering three in a row record for 30/30 results, for the year 2008-2010. During the course of 14 years, 366 students out of 420 have made it to the IITs. Anand has no financial support for the Super 30 program from any government as well as private agencies and manages on the tuition fee he earns from the Ramanujan Institute and by organizing evening classes in Patna. After the success of his endeavor, he got many offers from private national and international companies, as well as the government for financial help, but he always refused it. He wanted to sustain Super 30 through his own efforts.
Anand Kumar’s Super 30 has received praise from countless international newspapers and magazines. Pages in the likes of The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, and Monocle, have been devoted to Kumar and his dedication towards shaping the futures of financially weak but exceptionally talented students. Anand has been invited to speak about his experiences at many prestigious institutes, including different IITs, University of British Columbia, Tokyo University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University. Anand has been awarded by the top award of Bihar government, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Shiksha Puruskar, S. Ramanujan Award for 2010 by the Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences, Maharishi Ved Vyas by Madhya Pradesh Government, and much more for his extraordinary contribution to education.
ScripBros believes that teachers are the best minds of any country. And its selfless minds like Anand Kumar’s that make our nation proud not just once, but every year. With his unwavering faith in his students and in himself, Anand Kumar has proved that we don’t need money to be philanthropic, we don’t need a background to be respected around the world, and we don’t need anything but our own will, to change lives. ScripBros salutes this unsung hero.