Anand Kumar, a mathematician and educationalist, is best known for his Super 30 programme, where he coaches underprivileged students for IIT-JEE. By 2018, 422 out of his 480 students made it to IITs. His recent biopic starring Hrithik Roshan has proved to be a great hit. He shared his success story in an exclusive conversation with Orissa Post. Excerpts:
What inspires you to teach underprivileged children?
I was selected to study at Cambridge but couldn’t make it to due to financial problems. The fact that a lot of people miss out on higher education in India due to weak financial background affects me a lot. This is how I and my brother were inspired to start ‘Super 30’. It was more like a mission. It inspires us till date.
You were not able to study at University of Cambridge. Do you regret that?
Never! Had I gone abroad, I would have still been in the academic sector. Here, I train my underprivileged kids to get admission at top institutions in the country and abroad. This is even more satisfying for me. I feel I have an obligation towards the country. I am glad that I didn’t go.
How do you feel when almost all your students crack IIT-JEE?
The feeling is very personal and emotional. It feels like I am contributing something unique to the society. I feel like I am part of the parivartan (change). To be honest, it’s my students who inspire me.
A biopic on you has already hit the theatres. Is it overwhelming?
I couldn’t believe it at first. I couldn’t believe that Hrithik Roshan was going to play my character. The production team called me and also came to Patna to convince me. Now I feel good that my story has reached and motivated a lot of people. I am quite overwhelmed.
What is the best moment of your career so far?
It was the moment when I saw the results of my students. All of them had made it. They were crying and laughing with joy. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it was the turning point of my life. I felt I was on the right track, doing the right thing.