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‘Philanthropy cannot be mixed with profession’: Super30 co-founder Abhayanand

By Firdaus Afreen
Updated on :
'Philanthropy cannot be mixed with profession': Super30 co-founder Abhayanand

Super30, a free tutorial to coach 30 bright aspirants of IIT entrance test who come from underprivileged families of Bihar is said to be an exceptional idea. The international exposure this concept got was phenomenal. It made IPS officer and educationalist Abhayanand and Ramanujam School of Mathematics teacher Anand Kumar a hero. The duo got admirations internationally. The programme was started by Abhayanand in 2003. But something had gone wrong during the course of time which forced Abhayanand to part his ways with Super30 and Anand Kumar. A former student of Anand Kumar has alleged him of deceit for popularity of the institution. The mathematician is condemned for giving wrong numbers of successful IIT aspirants in media.

Here is an excerpt of a conversation he had exclusively with Newsd.

The students of Super30 have alleged Anand Kumar of fraudulence to gain popularity, what do you have to say about it?

This is students’ allegation. I can’t say anything unless it is proved. I parted my ways in 2007. The result of batch 2007 had come in 2008, which was the last time when we were seen together.

Do you think this is possible for a person like Anand Kumar to do a thing like this?

That will be more of a conjecture. How can I tell you? So, far it is all allegations, nothing has been legally proved. He himself can tell you better about it. Though every news channels of Patna and beyond Patna has tries all means of communication to reach him. But he is not reachable.

So you parted ways with Anand Kumar in 2007? What made you take this decision?

This whole concept started in 2002, when I proposed him the idea of Super 30. He was a professional teacher, I was in administration. We started this with a motive of “Samaj ka kuch bhala ho jaye” (social work). Back then, Ramanujam School of Mathematics and Super30 were two individual bodies and remained separated till 2005 when Anand decided to join the classes of Ramanujam and Super30.

Anand came to me and said, “Sir mujhe dikkat hoti hai, mujhe do jagah padhana padta hai”, I asked him what do you want, he said, lets collaborate Ramanujam and Super30. This will make it easier for me to manage.

I used to manage time after my office to teach students because of my passion for teaching. I didn’t have enough time, so Anand used to take care of the management part. But it took me around a year and a half to realize what actually is going on. The results of Ramanujam and Super30 were being mixed.

What irked you the most while teaching in the merged Super30 and Ramanujam?

I wanted Super30 to be free from all the commercial interests. It was a very modest expenditure. I was not charging anything. A little amount was spent on students’ food and accessories, but since the students came from a poor background, even they had a simple lifestyle with the least expenses.

CNN-IBN called us for their show ‘The Real Heros’, where they offered a cheque of Rs 5 lakhs for both of us. I refused to receive but Anand did. That was the time when I got clear that it is not going to be the way, I wanted it to be. Then there were other instances that clicked me. Following this, I decided to move out of it.

I told him very clearly, it is your profession, you carry on. I can’t continue like this.

Were the classes of Super30 and Ramanujam also merged?

Yes, the classes were merged and I also used to teach Physics to both the students of Super30 and Ramanujam.

When did you realize that the results are being mixed up?

Right from the time when Ramanujam and Super30 were merged, I had a suspicion of it. Once a French filmmaker had come who stayed with us for around 10 days. Surprisingly, he came up to me and said, “Kuch toh gadbad hai” (There is something fishy).

What difference do you see in Super30 then and now?

If you go through the images of different year’s celebrations after results, the picture says it all. Earlier during the celebrations, journalists had all the freedom to talk to the children and take notes. This gave exposure to the children. Now it is all restricted. Media can only come and take pictures but can’t talk to the children. Anand started to keep things and there were no transparency anymore.