Educating the underpriviledged

Super 30

Free and fair education is a dream

Probably my thoughts and my blogs will become very much channeled towards productivity, hence I decided to add in a bit of flavour and write about something in the news and a very important part of my life.

So, sharing my first blog of Super 30 - which I wrote on Quora here back in 2015 and it took me 12 hours on a Saturday and got 11K+ upvotes (382K Views) on the platform and is one of the initial sparks for me to write.

Originally shared on Quora on June 28, 2015

I am from Super 30 and am writing this because I think being a student at Super30, I must protect its dignity. You can cross-check my background if you have any doubts on what’s said below.

I am from Super30 2k9 batch and have been an average student throughout. It was 2007 when I was in Xth and had absolutely no clue about even the ‘IIT’ word, let alone the various engineering colleges and types of entrance exams etc. On a close friends advice, I went to study Maths which I liked as a subject, to Hot Summer Cool Classes – a 45 days course at the coaching center [Actual institute name is Ramanujan school of Mathematics, AKA Super 30 coaching institute!]. I was impressed by Anand Kumar [we called him Anand Sir] teaching and had requested him for some fee rebate, as I could not have paid for the regular fees of 9000 per year. I just paid 6000 for 1 year PCM coaching. He asked me to attend few of the classes and based on my performance, I would be provided extension to attend more classes. I somehow survived that 1 year by passing through 30% marks in almost all of the coaching tests.

Then towards the end of my 1 year of grant-based study, started the sale of Super30 forms, price 50 Rs. each. I arranged this much money and again luckily cleared the exams [Not too high score but just got in!], however no announcement for accommodation, etc was made initially. Then a 80-100 student batch was formed and after 2 or 3 week’s coaching, weekly tests started. I was lucky to be in the list of students who scored good in those tests. I was offered a boarding in a flat along with a good mix of students[Secret of Super30’s success is here!]. We 8 students shared a 3 BHK, 2-times food & rent was free, rest everything was upon us, from cleaning floors, toilets to laundry, and edibles like snacks/horlicks. Similarly, there were other groups set up by the coaching management in nearby colonies. Our group of 8 knew that each of us are in actual Super30, but no one else in our batch, just to avoid nuisance and distractions. We did not know how many students study in Super30 and where are all other students living who have been provided boarding, etc. Again the same reason. It was anyway not our business to inquire soo much.

The 8 student group was like this: 1 student very sharp in maths, 1 very sharp in physics, 1 very sharp in chemistry and each were boarded in different rooms of the flat. Rest almost everyone was an average guy and distributed accordingly. The reasoning for this, [I discussed this later with Anand Sir], was that the flat should never be cluttered and should always be productive for learning and unblocking each other’s queries. Anyway, the Super30 management applies these sort of combinations to form efficient study groups and this process was still evolving till then. They keep making changes to the group structure every year almost AFAIK. There is a healthy competition and people learn as well as admire each other a lot. In our year, a new Chemistry teacher was hired by the institute and did not visit the hostel. Teachers for Maths and Physics came to our hostel in case we needed. But that was like once in a month, mostly we used to clarify our doubts in the institute itself, among the other students. Huge number of tests were taken in just 8 months of Super30 course, almost ~150. management keeps a watch on the strong and weak points of students and guides them accordingly.

Finally IIT JEE Results came, I was through the IIT JEE [AIR 7588, folks might think this is not so good, but it proved enough for me]. We were called at the institute on the result day. Some media interviews happened early in the day, and Super30 was covered by the whole bunch of National Media till afternoon. After all publicity was done, in evening, all thinkable Super30’s “interests” came to a logical end. But, Anand Sir came to the mic again and almost took all the responsibility of arranging money for our college study. We were told not to worry much about the money asked for registration, etc. And that was just the start of Super30’s selfless helping!

IIT JEE form = 1000 Rs., Given by Super30.

Registration fees = 5000 Rs., I had no money to go to Guwahati and pay this much. Completely taken care of by Super 30. [Travel was paid by relatives though!]

Education loan process = Super30 got us connected to some banks who gave us loans without much harassment and collateral security.

First semester fees = Education Loan process was not that fast. Super30 asked banks to disburse money for 1st semester in advance. [I am not fully sure how this was done!]. I got money for 1st semester even before I got my education loan sanction letter.

Study fees = Education loan took care of most of these. Also, just because I was from Super30, I could manage huge study grants by various NGO/other private firms so that I could complete my studies at IIT Patna Comp Science hassle free. Else a person of my JEE AIR would be never even considered for any form of scholarship let alone the grants. Seriously speaking, I could not have made it to any IIT [or just say any form of engineering degree] without Super30’s help and guidance.

Today’s me = It’s been two years for me working at Microsoft. I am weighing different growth paths in professional life, masters degree, promotions within Microsoft, better Job in US or within our country, etc. Least of the Super30’s impact, my family got unchained from the gruesome days my family faced while I was in college. [P.S. Now I work at Facebook Singapore - comfortable well earning and I try to support kids by paying their fees, etc]

My role = I have offered Super30 management for owning finances of one or two student who is struggling to arrange fees for their college, irrespective of getting it to IIT or not. Hopefully, I’ll get the privilege of helping people back, what I had gotten a few years back.

A fact for good is that Super30 has successfully changed so many lives and will keep changing for many others too. I sincerely hope people do not disregard Super30’s achievements in bringing cheer for me and many like me. Even if there is some publicity of the teachers involved, can’t we simply see the much-needed help and the good beneath that. I remember my father’s words to one of the interviewers he spoke to, “Super30 has appeared to us like Gods of the Poor”. I think this sums up all I wanted to say.

Answers to FAQs in comments

Below are some of the questions which were raised in comments in the Quora post, and so I had decided to give an answer as an Edit to the original post.

  1. Success secret of S30?
    • Answered in another quora post here. In short, following are the points:
      • Good arrangement of student groups with different students having different strong subjects
      • Huge number of tests
      • Proper feedback channels in between students and guides
      • Alienation from distractions and worries like financial, home, etc
      • [less of a factor] Assurance of future seeing the past record
  2. Is Super30 only for reserved population?
    • Answer: Many students come from reserved [Atleast in my batch], but the management never has had any quota or any bias [AFAIK] to not take GEN in S30. Some of the ‘8’, I mentioned above are “GEN” category and are already added in my FB. Not all 8 are added because we people did not know about Facebook then, we joined Orkut/FB later when exposed to such stuff in 1st year and I could not maintain a regular touch with all of them. :(
  3. Isn’t it just students alone who should be credited for their hard work?
    • Answer: I don’t think so. Guidance and a good coaching is very much required. Many school friends of mine did not get to any IIT or NIT which they easily deserved just because of the lack of guidance.
  4. Where do Super30 people go in future?
    • Answer: Many go to IIT, but I know some students who opted for NIT instead of a IIT, thinking of a better future in NIT rather a new IIT or maybe because of no seats offered. They get to one or the another MNC. Some have become IAS, researchers, etc. But the biggest change is the way it has brought several families above the so called “state of mind”!

For further queries check out, Super 30 Website.

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