Dedication: Nurturing rural talents

Tutor who sold pappad guides all 30 kids to IITs


Pranava K Chaudhary | TNN


Patna: When Patna’s maths wizard Anand Kumar, who once hawked ‘‘pappad’’ to earn a living, started his noble initiative, Super-30, to coach 30 economically weak students for IIT-JEE in 2003 free of cost, 18 of them made it to IITs. 
   The number of successful candidates rose to 22 in 2004, 26 in 2005 and 28 in 2006. Twenty-eight of the 30 cracked the exam in 2007 as well. And now, all of them—all the 30 aspirants—have come out with flying colours this year.
   It was a festival-like scene at Anand’s residence at the nondescript Chand Pur Bela locality in Patna. ‘‘I am planning to select 500 IIT aspirants from across the country to coach them for next year’s JEE,’’ a beaming Anand told TOI and added all of them would be from underprivileged sections of the society.
   Himself a bright student, Anand could not pursue higher studies due to poverty spawned by the premature death of his father. ‘‘My mother used to prepare ‘papad’ and I used to pedal in the lanes and bylanes of Patna selling them,’’ Anand recounted, recalling the days which motivated him to help the poor pursue higher studies.
   Super-30 was jointly initiated by Anand and IPS officer Abhayanand to provide free coaching and guidance to poor students who show promise. Anand also runs a Ramanujan School of Mathematics (RSM) which pays for the boarding of the Super-30 students. During their seven-month intensive coaching, the students have to strictly stay away from their homes. But they get ‘‘homemade food’’, prepared by Anand’s mother Jayanti Devi.

Son of bidi worker clears UPSC exam    
Gondia: This is the story of how determination spells success. Hailing from a poor family of bidi labours, 22-year-old Dhananjay Wanjari, is perhaps the youngest IAS aspirant in the country to have cleared the civil services exam this year. A resident of Kamtha (Birsi) village, about 15 km from Gondia, Dhananjay lost his father when he was only 4. His mother, Sumabai, a bidi labourer toiled for her upbringing. He passed his matriculation exam from GES High school, Kamtha and graduated from D B Science College, Gondia. Later he went to Bhopal and Delhi for post graduation and preparation of UPSC examination. Only last year he joined as lecturer at Susil Ismail College in Mumbai.
   Speaking to TOI, Sumabai said, “It is very difficult to supplement family income and pursue education at the same time. But Dhananjay did it with diligence. He took each hurdle as a challenge and cleared it with determination.” Sonabai said that Dhananjay used to roll bidis since childhood along with his aunt Rampyari, but was very ambitious. Sonabai recalls that he wanted to be an officer since childhood. Dhananjay, who is currently in Mumbai, said his achievement means there is no dearth of talent in rural parts of India. “It is how one perceives opportunities and makes the most of them that determines success,” he said.

Diwakar Phatak | TNN




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