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JEE Advanced: Super 30 stars set to storm into the IITs

June 19, 2014 17:09 IST

JEE Advanced: Super 30 stars set to storm into the IITs!

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MI Khan

Each year, Anand Kumar selects and trains 30 deserving candidates from underprivileged backgrounds so they can have a shot at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology or the IITs.

Kumar’s Super 30 is an internationally acclaimed coaching institute that grooms these young women and men for free.

27 of these dreamers have cracked the Joint Entrance Examination or the JEE this year and are set to step into the hallowed corridors of IITs around the country.

MI Khan reports from Patna.


The son of cobbler, a daily-wage labourer, a landless farmer and nearly two dozen other students from poverty-stricken families have cracked the IIT entrance examination, IIT-JEE in Bihar.

The results were announced on Wednesday.

"This year, 27 of the 30 students of Super 30 cracked the IIT-JEE," said Anand Kumar, the founder-director of Super 30, a free coaching centre that has conscientiously coached students who cannot afford paid coaching since 2002.

(Read more about Anand Kumar here!)

In the last 12 years, Super 30 has had an envious 85 per cent success rate at the IIT-JEE Advanced, often considered one of the toughest competitive examinations in the country.

What is special about these results is that it shows that given the opportunity and resources, students from poor families can also reach the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology.

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Image: A jubilant Anand Kumar (in blue shirt) celebrates with his students in Patna.
Photographs: MI Khan/Rediff.com

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MI Khan

Sanjeet Kumar's father Ram Bhajan hails from Muzaffarpur district of Bihar and loads goods on trucks and tractors for a living

"After clearing my class 12 from a government school, I heard of IIT for the first time," Sanjeet says.

"But people told me not to try for it, as my father was too poor to afford costly books and coaching."

The family ate just one meal a day when his father could not go to work due to ill health as he was paid a daily wage.

Sanjeet says he was lucky to be selected for the Super 30 batch "and from then on, there was no looking back."


Image: Sanjeet Kumar with his father Ram Bhajan
Photographs: MI Khan

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Sudhir Kumar's father is a cobbler and still shines shoes in Biharsharif, district headquarters of Nalanda. Sudhir often helped his father.

"One day, I polished the shoes of a man and when I asked for the money, he abused me and walked away. I was very angry. My father told me to calm down and said that the best way to take revenge was to acquire real power through education," Sudhir reminisces.

The insult became a big motivating factor for Sudhir.

He stitched shoes but had dreams of becoming an engineer.

"Today, I am happy that I have cracked the IIT," he said emotionally as he thanked the coaching class without whose help he had no hope of making the grade.

He wants to work for the poor too after completing his studies.

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Image: Sudhir Kumar with his father who works as a cobbler.
Photographs: MI Khan

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Sunil Kumar is another student from a disadvantaged family who has passed the entrance exam.

His father, a daily-wage labourer, toils from dawn to dusk to fend for his family of eight children.

Sunil was witness to this struggle since childhood. “We ate just rice for many days as there was nothing else in the house. And we learnt to be happy with just that.

"But my father wanted me to study. My elder brother could not study due to hardship and that hurt him," recalls Sunil.

There should be many more schools like Super 30, that provide coaching that poor but talented students can avail of, he says.

"In today’s world, when everyone is busy earning money this way or that way, here is a man who is virtually grooming 30 students with his hard-earned money. He could have used it for his own comfort, but instead he is running Super 30 for the poor," Sunil says. 

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Image: Sunil Kumar
Photographs: MI Khan
Tags: JEE

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Hari Mohan Pandey, who also cracked the exam, is the son of a landless farmer and Nidhi Jha's father is an auto rickshaw driver. 

Radhe Shyam’s father is a daily-wage labourer in Uttar Pradesh. 

Their futures could be very different from that of their families.

Hari Mohan Pandey from Jaint village in Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh managed somehow to complete his class 10 from a government school. He first heard of IIT when in class 12.

He was interested in mathematics but could not afford textbooks and managed from old books donated by some villagers.

One day, in an old newspaper, he read an article on Super 30. It was the first ray of hope.

For the first time, he moved out of his village and went to Patna.

"When I left my village, I was very sad. I did not know what my next step would be. But all that changed once I reached Super 30. I got fully engrossed in studies. I stayed with the family of Anand Sir and it felt like a home away from home," Hari Mohan says.

"After completing my studies, I will take a job to rid my family of the acute financial constraints. My parents have suffered a lot for me," he says with tears in his eyes.

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Image: Hari Mohan Pandey
Photographs: MI Khan

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Nidhi Jha had the disadvantage of being poor and a woman.

But she had a father with a big heart though he had few resources.

She grew up in Varanasi and was always tremendously interested in studies.

Her father, Sunil Jha, an auto driver, barely earned enough to meet the basic needs of a big joint family of 12 members.

They had no home of their own and lived on the premises of a local temple.

Extraordinarily, given this background, Nidhi wanted to become an engineer.

She passed class 12 from a government school.

And then one day she heard of Super 30 and went there with her father.

That was the beginning of what will surely be a new life for the gutsy young woman.

The entire family is basking in the glory of her achievement in clearing the IIT entrance exam.

Father Sunil Jha who is in Patna is unable to cope with the media attention.

He is often overpowered by emotions. "I had never dreamt of this day," he says.

Anand Kumar is like an incarnation of God for us, he says.

"It is his selfless support that has made us see this day. With Nidhi in IIT, I cannot ask for more from the God."

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Image: Nidhi Jha
Photographs: MI Khan

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For Radhe Shyam, the results of the JEE (Advanced) brought mixed emotions.

He was happy he had made it to IIT against all the odds, but he also looked back to those turbulent days after his father's death and later an accident in which he lost an eye.

Radhe Shyam comes from Basti in UP where his father worked in a private company as a labourer.

After his father's untimely death, the entire family was out on the streets.

He studied in a local government school.

The entrance into IIT carries with it the hope of a brighter future for him and his family.

ALSO READ: A dishwasher's daughter could soon be an IITian

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Image: Radhe Shyam
Photographs: MI Khan

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