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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Super 30 founder Anand Kumar is 'People's Hero'

IANS  Patna, October 31, 2012
First Published: 14:02 IST(31/10/2012) | Last Updated: 15:02 IST(31/10/2012)

Anand Kumar, founder of Super 30, a free coaching centre which trains children from poor families for entry into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, has added another feather to his cap.

People magazine of the Time magazine group carries, in the Indian edition's latest issue, a detailed feature on the work of Anand Kumar, listing him as a "People's Hero".

The magazine usually features celebrities and film stars. This is a rare occasion when a teacher has been profiled. 

The People magazine feature details how Anand Kumar, working almost alone for over a decade, has helped 263 children from poor families to make it into the prestigious IITs.

"It feels great to find a place in People. It will inspire me work even harder. I am not a celebrity. I am just an ordinary man, but this is a great gesture from the magazine, to find me good enough for this honour. This is a recognition of the students, my teachers and family members, as without them it would not have been possible," Kumar said.

Kumar had hoped to study at Cambridge University in Britain, but when acute financial problems saw him giving up that dream, he set up Super 30 to help poor students, providing free residential coaching.

Anand and his innovative school have earlier featured in international magazines and on TV news channels.

Time magazine has earlier described Super 30 as the "best of Asia", while Newsweek had listed the school as one of the world's four innovative schools.

Europe's Focus magazine paid tribute to Kumar's ability to unleash hidden talent, while London's Monocle listed him among the 20 top teachers of the world.

Discovery Channel, which made an hour-long documentary on Anand Kumar and Super 30, described it as a "revolutionary experiment to bring about social change", while Yoichi Itoh, chief economist of STB Research Institute, Japan, which also made a film on "Super 30" for Japan's NHK channel, dubbed it a "secret weapon of India".

Only days ago, the University of Tokyo had entered into an agreement with Super 30, to sponsor the studies of one child from the school at the university.

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