Anand Kumar Biography
Childhood & Early Life
Anand Kumar was born on January 1, 1973, in Patna, Bihar to a middle-class family. His mother is Jayanti Devi, and he has a brother named Pranav Kumar, who later became a paid violinist.
His father was a postman and had no money to send his children to private schools. As a result, he and his brother attended a public school in central Hindi, where he became interested in mathematics.
Anand Kumar later graduated with a B.N.Patna degree where, in 1992, while still a student, he founded the mathematics club ‘Ramanujam School of Mathematics’. He started a free maths training program under the guidance of his mentor and grandfather, Devi Prasad Verma, former Head of Mathematics, Patna Science College.
He had to take a six-hour train ride to Varanasi every weekend to study at Central Library, BHU, as Patna University’s library did not have foreign magazines. His brother, who was studying violin under N. Rajam, had a hostel room there, where Anand stayed over the weekend.
In 1994, he was allowed to enter universities in Cambridge and Sheffield, but because of his father’s death, the family’s financial situation dropped, and he was unable to find sponsors in Patna and Delhi. However, he continued reading and distributing papers with a numerical perspective, published in ‘Mathematical Spectrum’ and ‘The Mathematical Gazette’.
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After the death of his father, Anand Kumar’s mother had started a small shop at home where he made a ‘padad’ which he brought in the evening with the intention of earning more money. He was also forced to take up a Phase III job offered to him because his father had died in prison.
Eager to teach mathematics, he transformed a mathematics club he founded back in 1992 into a training center to train students in need of various low-cost competitive exams. He rented a room for Rs. 500 per month and started with only two students, but reached 36 students by the end of the year, and reached 500 within three years.
Provided annual training for only Rs. 1000 while the market value was Rs. 6000, but some of the students from poor families could not afford that. In 2000, when one such student told him that he wanted to train for IIT-JEE but could not afford one, he decided to sponsor it.
He called his brother back from Mumbai and organized a program to launch the ‘Super 30’ program in 2002, which selected 30 well-performing students from the poorest homes to receive IIT training for free. He also provides them with free food and lodging throughout the year, in addition to study materials.
In May and June each year, he writes a competitive test to select the 30 most talented students in the socio-economic sectors. The following year, he prepares them for the highly competitive IIT-JEE exam.
Since 2003, he has taught 450 students under the program, among them 391 non-alumni who have passed IIT-JEE to enter the prestigious institution. Between 2008 and 2012, he achieved three consecutive 30/30 results.
Anand Kumar has already succeeded in his efforts to transform the education system in a limited way. It is committed to providing quality education to needy students without external financial assistance.
Awards & Achievements
Anand Kumar’s show ‘Super 30’ was featured in an hour-long article on the Discovery Channel in March 2009. His amazing story was followed by an article in the ‘The New York Times’ section.
In the years that followed, she contributed to many BBC programs and documentaries prepared by actress and former Miss Japan Norika Fujiwara, who visited Patna to record her life. He has also been invited to speak about his experiences at IITs, IIM Ahmedabad, University of British Columbia, Tokyo University and Stanford University.
In 2009, he arrived at the Limca Book of Records for his efforts to provide IIT-JEE training to poor students. His show ‘Super 30’ has been featured in the ‘Time’ magazine for Best of Asia 2010.
In July 2010, he received the ‘S. Ramanujan Award ‘from the Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS). The following month, US President Barack Obama’s special envoy, Rashad Hussain, praised his efforts, calling them ‘the best’ institution in the country.
In India, he was honored with the Ramanujan Mathematics Award at the Eighth National Mathematics Conference in Rajkot, Maharishi Ved Vyas by Madhya Pradesh Government and received the Honorary D.Sc. from Karpagam University. Abroad, he was honored by the government of British Columbia, Canada and by the Minister of Education of Saxony, Germany.
Human Life and Inheritance
Anand Kumar has been approached by a number of government agencies and non-governmental organizations from India and abroad for financial assistance, but is determined to fund the ‘Super 30’ on its own. While sponsoring the program by organizing evening classes in Patna, her mother cooks for the students and her brother takes care of the administration.
In May 2016, IIFA, Filmfare and National Film Award-winning director Vikas Bahl announced that biopic was being done by a mathematician. The film, directed by Preeti Sinha, will be shot in Patna and Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan will be featured in the movie.
In June 2016, Bihar’s Prime Minister Nitish Kumar released a biography written on him and praised his self-sacrificing act by saying that he is still Bihar’s face. The book was written by Canadian-based psychiatrist Biju Mathew in collaboration with journalist Arun Kumar, and was published in English by Penguin Random House and in Hindi by Prabhat Prakashan.
Anand Kumar needs to take guards wherever he goes as there have been attempts on his life. According to him, many institutions there are run by criminals who are outraged by his great success and try to stop him in every way.
He also helped Amitabh Bachchan prepare for his role in the movie ‘Aarakshan’.
The movie ‘Super 30’, released in 2019, is based on the life of Anand Kumar. In the movie, her character is portrayed by Hrithik Roshan