Dear Anand Sir:
Thank you. My life will forever be different because of you.
My father is a farmer in Jharkhand's Hazaribag district. We live in a Naxal-affected area. Even a mobile phone and a network that works have been luxuries for people like us who live there. I have a sister who is married and two younger brothers who are studying in school.
My father is a marginal farmer. For five months in a year, when there is no crop in our small field, he goes to Kolkata to work as a labourer in the contruction business. I have grown up in a house where sometimes we did not eat more than one meal a day.
I qualified to go to a Navodaya Vidyalaya or government-subsidized boarding school when I was in Class 8. I particularly remember a senior, Bharat Yadav. He is now an IIT-ian. I always used to think to myself, "He is so bright and hard-working and focused, I can be like him too."
After school, I got to know of Super-30 and I entered your coaching institute through a very rigorous selection process. Anand Sir, you have been my biggest inspiration. See, my family could never have afforded the lakhs that students from better-off families pay at coaching institutes. By teaching me and taking care of my living expenses, you made me confident enough to pursue my dreams of entering an IIT.
I want to study mechanical engineering at IIT Kharagpur. I want to be an entrepreneur and work within India. I think the opportunities for such kind of work have increased immensely in the last few years. I am not one of those who want a life abroad. But yes, I want my parents to see a better life and not work so hard in their old age. I live in a village where the government hospital has been barely functional for years. I want to build a hospital at my village. That's my dream.
My parents are so happy with my success, they are having trouble expressing themselves. I spoke to my mother and she was just overcome with emotion. So was my father.
I do hope that one day the quality of education in schools will become good enough, especially in our villages, so that children like me can also aspire to get into IITs on the basis of what we learn in schools and not at expensive coaching centres. I am lucky to have you, Anand Sir. Many others aren't.
I owe everything to you.
(Rahul Kumar, 19, has cleared the IIT entrance exam after one year of coaching at the famous Super 30 institute in Bihar run by Anand Kumar, who offers free learning for students from under-privileged families.)
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