M A I N   N E W S

Punjab’s poorest also crack the IIT-JEE
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Patna, May 25
Jatinder Singh’s father sells ‘kulchey chholey’ in Sangrur’s Majha village. Satish Kumar’s father is a petty shopkeeper. Both belong to Sangrur. The father of Priyanka Sharma, who hails from Ludhiana, has a mobile phone repair shop.

All three youngsters from Punjab were bright but could not afford special coaching. But they spent the last 10 months in far away Patna, preparing to crack the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) as part of the group of 30 coached by mathematics teacher Anand Kumar, whose Ramanujan School of Mathematics bears their boarding and lodging expenses out of what his school earns from tutoring students who can afford coaching.

The Punjab youngsters, bright but from modest homes, were sponsored by Chandigarh’s Bhai Jaitajee Foundation, which tied up with Kumar’s ‘Super 30’. The Foundation (bjfindia.org) will be conducting a test on June 5 at Patiala to select this year’s recipients of the scholarship.

“This heralds a new ray of hope for underprivileged students in small villages of Punjab. We thank Anand Kumar for making it possible,” said Bhai Jaitajee Foundation chairman Harpal Singh.

As many as 24 of Anand Kumar’s 30 students have got through this year. All of them come from poor families - children of marginal farmers, milk sellers, truck drivers, unemployed single mothers, cellphone mechanics and small shopkeepers.

For the better part of the last few years, Anand has been battling accusations of making false claims. This prompted him this year to release names and details of all 30 students, including the three from Punjab, two days before the results came out. This, he hoped, would silence the campaign against the ‘Super 30’ scheme once and for all.

In the last few years, all 30 students coached by Anand have been successful each year. Kumar said he was disappointed for the six students who had failed to crack the exam. But he was confident they would all do well in whatever they choose to pursue.





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