Super 30 - Anand Kumar

Some of you, who know me personally, knows my background and how I managed to reached London in 2000. For others, I belong to a state called Bihar, in India. I was born and raised in the city of Jamshedpur. A city built by Tata. Who Tata? They are well respected Industrial group.

I still remember, outside of Bihar, people don't treat us well if they know you are from Bihar. I can tell you from my own experience when I moved to Mumbai (Bombay) in the year 1997. Because of this, people from Bihar don't disclose their identity. Recently some parts of Bihar got separated and created a new state "Jharkhand". In the process, Jamshedpur now belongs to newly created state Jharkhand. However, I still feel my roots belong to Bihar. It gives me immense pride when I hear nice thing about Bihar.

The locality where I was raised had lots of underprivileged families. I have seen how the kids from such families struggled to get even basic education. Somehow, I managed to get myself out of that zone. First time, I heard about Anand Kumar was when I was doing my computer course in the year 1993. I wanted to do study in the premier institute IIT and become an Engineer. But the competition was so tough that it is next to impossible unless you belong to a reservation catgeory. Anand Kumar started coaching underprivileged students for IIT entrance exam for FREE. As per the wiki page, by 2018, 422 out of 480 students made it to IIT. Without the help and guidance of Anand Kumar, these students can't even dream of having basic education.

I was always inspired by Anand Kumar. There was one common thing between us, we both loved Mathematics. I wanted to be like him and do something about underprivileged students in my locality. Because of family responsibilty, I had to move to Mumbai for better job and finally ended up in London in 2000 during the dotcom boom. After marriage, I even got more distracted about this project.

Recently, an Indian movie "Super 30", based on the life of Anand Kumar was released. I happend to watch it and came to know a lot about Anand Kumar and his struggle. It brought tears in my eyes at the end. No one from the state of Bihar can dream of getting invitation from Cambridge University to study further. He couldn't pursue it because of his father's death and his financial condition.

I find myself in a really tricky situation where it is so difficult to connect to the underprivileged students of my locality. If I can change the life of even one underprivileged student from my locality then I would feel blessed. I had many ideas that I wanted to try. One of them was to start Perl Mongers Group for local kids. Teach them basics of programming and then move them towards programming. In this age of Internet, it is possible to connect to anyone in the world but you still need to be there to do initial ground work.

I visit India every 2 years for 3 weeks at the most. All my local contacts during my college days no longer live in the city. I no longer know many faces in my locality and don't know where to start.

After watching the movie, it gave me enough energy to do something about it. It is all in paper at the moment. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope one day I could make this happening.

I would recommend you watch the movie "Super 30", if you can. It is an inspirational movie. You can find more about him wiki page.

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About Mohammad S Anwar

user-pic CPAN Contributor. Co-editor of Perl Weekly newsletter. Run Perl Weekly Challenge @PerlWChallenge. Father of 3 angels. Indian by birth, British by choice.