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Anand Kumar, founder of Bihar's Super 30, has been named as people's hero by People magazine of Time magazine group which has done a detailed feature on him as People's Hero in its Indian edition.
This is one of the few occasions when the magazine has profiled a teacher for this column. Sandeep Desai is another such teacher to have found a mention in the magazine that largely though not entirely focuses on celebrities.)
People magazine has mentioned how Super 30 has been helping underprivileged children to crack India's most competitive examination year after year for over a decade.
It has described Anand as a teacher, who without being discouraged by circumstances around him, has been able to help over 250 students realise their IIT dream without any external financial support. "Anand has done it on his own, which is remarkable," the magazine feature reads.
"It feels great to find a place in People. It will inspire me to work even harder. I am not a celebrity. I am just an ordinary man, but it is a great gesture from the magazine to find me good enough for this honour. This is an acknowledgement of the work of my students, teachers and family members without who it would not have been possible," he added.
Having failed to pursue his dream of studying at the University of Cambridge due to acute financial problems, Anand set up Super 30 about 10 years ago to help poor students realise their own. Super 30 provides free residential coaching to poor students. Under the programme, 263 students have so far made it to the IITs.
Earlier, Anand Kumar and his innovative school were featured in several international magazines and channels. Time magazine described Super 30 as the 'Best of Asia', while Newsweek put it in the category of world's four innovative schools.
Europe's Focus magazine termed him as a teacher, who could discover extraordinary talent even, while London's Monocle put Anand among the 20 top teachers of the world.
Discovery Channel, which made an hour-long documentary on 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 the famous channel NHK, dubbed it as a 'secret weapon of India'.
Actress and ex-Miss Japan Norika Fujiwara visited Patna to make a documentary on Anand Kumar's initiatives. French 24 also made a short documentary film on his life.
Anand had his name included in the Limca Book of World Records for his amazing teaching capabilities.