It was the year 1993-94. There was an offer for admission in Cambridge University. I was getting ready to leave. The mother was happy that the son would go to Cambridge, but we did not even have money for a plane ticket.
Because of this, father was in a bit of tension. One night we were going to sleep after having dinner, when suddenly there came the sound of my father getting stuck in his breath. It was 11 o’clock in the night. We ran to him, but by then he was probably dead.
We thought he was unconscious. It was a rainy month. There was knee-deep water all around the house. No means of getting anywhere. Taking a neighbor’s handcart, took his father to Patna Hospital. There the doctor declared him dead on sight.
On the one hand, the dream of going to Cambridge was broken, on the other hand, the sudden passing of my father like this… now everything is over.
Anand Kumar then says with a little restraint, ‘Dad always used to say – struggle is better than compromise. Never compromise.
Anand returns to his childhood days. It is said- I was born in a family where there was poverty. There was a small rented house on the side of the railway track. Dad was an employee in the postal department, but the salary was not enough to teach us in a good school. He studied till the second class in a private school.
We didn’t have nice clothes to go to school. School children used to wear terricott clothes. I cotton cloth. Cotton cloth was considered the cheapest in those days.
All the students used to bring a bag made of aluminum, while I used to bring a bag made of tin. We always used to think that studies can be done well only if we have money, but father used to say, ‘Education is not done by money, but by hard work’.
Anand says- After the second class, he started studying in a government school. There was a drain in front of my house and a Sardarji’s house across it. Teachers were not coming for several days to teach their children, so I was asked to teach. I was in sixth grade at that time. Since then he started teaching one or two children.
When I passed 10th, all my friends were going to Delhi, but I did not have money to study in a big city. After passing Inter, took admission in graduation from Patna University.
During this time I invented some formulas and theory of maths, which was published in the Mathematics Journal of Cambridge University and I got an offer for admission from Cambridge, but suddenly everything ended after my father’s death.
Anand relives the struggle of those days. It is said that people started saying that instead of father, join on compassionate (job given to one of his dependents in case of death of a person during government service).
Mother was not educated that she could do a job. Brother (Pranav Kumar) was a minor. Bhai was learning violin in BHU in those days. The responsibility of household expenses fell on me. Brother also came to Patna.
Mother started making papads. Both of us brothers used to study during the day and take ‘Anand Papad’ in the evening… Take ‘Anand Papad’… We used to roam the streets and alleys of Patna selling papads. This cycle continued for about 4 years.
The year 1998-99 was passing. One day the brother said, ‘How long will you keep selling such papads? Start teaching children.’
How did ‘Phir Super-30’ start?
Anand says with hopeful eyes – Many such talented children in coaching used to come from very poor families, who wanted to crack exams like IIT, but they did not even have money to eat.
We felt that if these children are educated well, then they too can do better in their lives. Launched ‘Super 30’ in 2002. The money that came from ‘Ramanujan Coaching’ was spent on the education of the children selected in ‘Super 30’.
Children started studying by keeping them free of cost at our house. Mother used to cook food for these children. The brother took care of the children.
Recalling his first batch, Anand shares some interesting facts. It is said- We thought that at least 5 out of 30 children would crack IIT, but in the first year itself, 18 out of 30 children cracked IIT. Then this caravan started.
Anand says – In 2008, it was amazing. 30 out of 30 children qualified IIT exam. Till now more than 500 of our kids have cracked IIT.
Later a book was written on my life. After which many people from the Bollywood industry started approaching me to make a film on my biopic. I met Vikas Bahl, director of the film ‘Super-30’ in 2016-17. After which the making of the film started.
He says- When Hrithik Roshan was chosen for his character, people said that you have made a big mistake. A hero who looks like an Englishman will play the role of ‘Anand Kumar’ from the village-country? But look how great the film turned out. People liked it a lot.
Anand says that now preparations are on to expand Super-30. In this, work is being done to increase the number of children and to open branches in other states also.
Anand Kumar also finally shares the story of his three students. telling…
Now also read these three stories of Khuddar Kahani…
1. Friends sexually abused to reveal identity, Navya Singh name found in Mumbai; Now making a splash in acting
2. I don’t like boys but girls
3. How did the Mumbai local train make transgender worship a line?; Sometimes people used to give chocolates and do dirty things while walking.
Credit: www.bhaskar.com /