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Cop's classes take the poor to IIT's doorsteps
Samir Kumar Mishra in Patna |
June 20, 2005 12:21 IST
From chasing gangsters to helping those with limited resources chase the great Indian Institute of Technology dream, this cop wields the baton and ballpoint with equal Úlan.
Abhayanand, Bihar's Additional Director-General of Police (special branch), whose name once had the dreaded dacoits of Champaran region scurrying for cover to dense forests in adjoining Nepal, now chisels raw talents into real competitors ready to take on the best in the country.
Super-30, the study group he set up three years ago with the help of Anand Kumar, a Patna University topper who runs mathematics tutorials for aspiring engineers and Neeraj Pratap Singh, another self-employed teacher of Chemistry, to coach Bihari boys to crack IIT entrance examinations, has a reason to rejoice.
26 of the 30 students chosen by Super-30 have made it to the IITs this year and among them are Suresh Ram, son of a Dalit brick kiln worker, Anupam, son of an auto-rickshaw driver and Priyanshu, whose father hawks cheap electronic watches.
Not for them the up-market teaching shops of Delhi and Kota as their parents with shallow pockets could never afford those. But they had a dream and they also had Super-30 to make them come true.
Super-30 charges nothing for teaching, accommodation and food it provides to the students admitted after a two-stage test. 200 students are selected from 3000, who appear for a screening test and of these 30 are chosen after another examination.
These 30 students have a no-frills existence as they lead a spartan life in rooms, which are paid for by Anand Kumar from his income from Ramanajan School of Mathematics he runs, they dine in a community kitchen and study in a thatched hut with corrugated roofing.
No advertisements were made by the Super-30 but the word of mouth brought students in droves and in the very first year of its existence, 18 students made it to the IITs. The number rose to 22 last year and shot up to 26 in 2005.
"I am delighted. I am feeling at the top of the world," says Abhayanand, who teaches physics.
"The credit goes to these young fellows who worked very hard to achieve their goal. Apart from giving them guidance in physics, I tried to inculcate in them self-belief and confidence," he says.
Abhayanand's experience with his two children, whom he helped get into the IITs, came in handy in teaching these students.
"For seven months we ate, drank and slept IIT. Watching TV and even cricket was a taboo. The boarding facility allowed greater interaction among students and our teachers were always at hand to help us with our problems," says Saurabh Harsh.
Ashish Chandra, ranked 44th in the SC category, dreams of getting into the Indian Administrative Service after completing his studies at the IIT.
Anand Kumar, whose research papers are published regularly in technical journals, says, "Poverty prevented me from pursuing higher studies at Cambridge. I don't want money to come in the way of other Bihari students realising their dreams."
The joy of success is, however, mingled with the pain of failure of the four students who could not crack the IIT exams.
"They too have done well and secured places in other engineering colleges but the management is prepared to have them in the next batch if they so desire," Anand says.