The Unsung Hero Of India #1

imageAnand Kumar was born in Patna, Bihar and attended a Hindi Medium School where he developed an enormous passion for Mathematics

Mr Kumar lost his father at a young age & his family suffered financial troubles henceforth. The family was solely dependent on his mother’s earnings.

He delivered home made papads (Crispy Indian snack) to shops and homes on his bicycle. Meanwhile, in 1992, he founded Ramanujam School of Mathematics where anyone could join without paying a penny & attend math camps

In 1994, his dreams came true and he was offered an education in Cambridge and Sheffield universities. Regrettably, lack of financial resources did not permit him to pursue his further education.

But the unflinching Anand did not loose hope and converted his club and camp into a coaching institute for competitive exams.
He also created the Super 30 programme to provide free education to the 30 talented students from financially poor backgrounds, for he knew that financial problems should not deter talent from achieving great heights.

The initiative provides free coaching, boarding and accommodation to the 30 talented children, chosen by Mr Anand and exclusively trained for the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) exam.

The initiative gets funds from the money earned by Anand from his coaching institute where he teaches about 500 students per batch, three times a week for 2.5 hours each.

The money earned is directed towards the Super 30 programme. The results of his 30 students have indeed been extremely impressive.

Founded in 2003, 18 students made it to IIT, whereas in 2004, the number rose to 22. 26 students were selected in 2006 and 28 got into IIT in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, 30 out of 30 students made it to IIT! (The difficulty level of JEE Exams are very high!)

Mr Anand Kumar has been a speaker at Atlanta, where he delivered a fantastic lecture in the annual conference organized by the American Mathematics Society and the Mathematics Association of America.

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He also contributed to the widely popular journals from the U.K., The Mathematical Gazette and the Mathematics Spectrum, and Parabola published in Australia.

Mr Kumar now aspires to establish schools for the poor and financially backward students so that their talent does not dwindle with time.
In fact, Discovery Channel had once featured a programme on Super 30. The New York Times has also written about Anand Kumar.

A Truly Humble & a Great Man, Indeed!

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Temple Prostitution: The Terrible Face Of Humanity!

As her trembling soul waited for the next man to enter her forlorn life through that dingy door, she raised a question to God: Why am I used like a toy? My body is served to quench the thirst of sadistic men, no one looks beneath this body. That girl of eight, ten years back did not know what the daughter of a devadasi (temple prostitute) was destined to be, until that fateful day when she was sent to the brothel and undressed by a man 30 years older to her, for a mere ₹200.

God, do I not deserve a life of dignity and respect? My swollen eyes, wounded forehead because of the constant thrashing (by the devilish men for reasons unknown to my anguished soul) and my bruised back does not remind your fellow children of what the true meaning of humanity is? Am I not a human? Do I not have feelings and emotions?

Another Mother Teresa In Making

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Image courtesy: http://en.akshy.org/akshy/our-team/

After a tiring day from the school, I rush back to my home. ‘How can someone like school?’ I ponder on this thought when my mother opens the main door. ‘Another attack on our valiant soldiers in Uri’ she despondently asserts.
For the past one week, our media has been portraying all sorts of news regarding the Uri attack and its aftermath. “Why doesn’t the neighbouring country concede its participation in this gruesome event? Should the Pakistani artists be banned in India? Is another war inevitable!?” And all of these discussions are the talk of the town in the country across the border too.
My heart bleeds for the martyred soldiers and the voice inside me revolts against this brutal episode. Where is this world heading to? Shouldn’t we provide aid to the families of these heavenly soldiers financially as well as emotionally instead of commencing a Twitter War with the citizens of the neighbouring country?

Another thought disturbs my disconsolated mind:

why the news channels only support the negatives of the world while overshadowing the positive ones? As my thoughts horrify me even more, my soul tries to find solace on the internet to know if humanity still exists.

I come across two truly wonderful souls who reclaim my faith in humanity- the gorgeous Mother Teresa who deserves to be a popular figure and Raquel Mason Palomeque, The one who is actually following Mother Teresa’s footsteps.

This Spanish woman has taken massive efforts to change the lives of the Dalit children in Bihar for the past 10 years!

Dalits in India are the members of the lowest caste who’ve been mistreated at every phase in the course of our country’s history. Only few courageous people have tried to alter the norms set by the ruthless society, and Ms Raquel is one of them. The Dalit community in Bihar was suffering and its children were deprived of the basic education and sufficient healthcare. Ms Raquel, who’d already fallen in love with the country’s sublime culture by that time, took the decision to return to Spain to collect funds for these beautiful yet hapless children of God.

Just like Mother Teresa, she decided that she’ll make her life more useful to others. In the year 2008, She quit her job in Spain and sold her house to compensate for her expenses and left for India. She opened up Akshy Educational Centre and Kamal School, where currently about 220 children are being taught. You’ll be surprised to know that half the seats in the school are reserved for girls!
She strongly believes that education will provide them with instruments to stand up for their views, ideas and ask for their rights as Indian Citizens.

We need souls like Mother Teresa and Raquel who aspire to diminish the negativity of this world! Come, let’s become one!
To know more about her mission, you can visit her website: http://en.akshy.org
My gratitude to: ‘The Better India’ newsletter that inspires me by helping me connect with beautiful people like Raquel Mason Palomeque!

ThinkAboveHorizon

A Trip That Changed My Mindset

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As a part of my hobby to study the cross-section of people across different regions in the country, I made my trip to Mussoorie this time. Today I’d been to the local market of this mesmerizing place. Far away from the crowded cities, disturbing noises and bad air, I was in a place that truly possessed abundance of beauty, meditative silence, fresh air and good people who hadn’t failed to maintain it. The place welcomed our arrival by showering rains which mollified our minds and along with that, the cool winds acted as a tonic for our nervous souls. Indeed, nature is rightfully called our mother.

But, one thing that had altered my mindset and shocked my senses was the sight of the inhabitants of this place. Even at the age when crutches act as the main support system for the body to move, these amazing people of the hills amazed me with their amazing health. I saw tons of old men and women carrying heavy loads on their head and up they went to the hill top without a slight hitch! Tough to believe? I’ve the proof-
The lady in the picture above should be rightfully called a woman of sheer substance. She’s Savitri, a 77 year old woman of the hills. At this fragile age, she is hesitant to be dependent on the other for her living. When my grandma asked for a packet of cookies, with a pretty smile on her face, Savitri stood up on the stool and took out a few packets for her. From that day on, I hold a deep reverence for the people of this area particularly this subject lady. Savitri unknowingly taught me that it’s not age which hinders your real potential but your mindset. Change your mindset, change your world!

ThinkAboveHorizon

The World Craves For Peace

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‘The ship’s going to drown’ One of the dispirited sailors proclaimed. ‘The aggressive waves accompanied by the strong winds have caught hold of the ship, we need to do something otherwise we all will perish!’ The other dispirited sailor proclaimed. ‘Can we not do something?!’ The third sailor impatiently asked the captain on the ship.

‘Just pray to the almighty, I know he will save his children from the imminent catastrophe. Sailors! Let’s all join our hands and make our devotions to our God. I know, he will come to protect us’ the captain (out of the blue) asserted. ‘But the system of the ship is still under our control captain,once again if we endeavour then definitely we’ll find out a way and survive!’ The third sailor responded. ‘Lets all join our hands, not only to pray, but also to fight against all odds and survive the forthcoming disaster. Who’s with me?!’ The third sailor added, he wanted to influence his fellow companions. (Let’s assume that there aren’t any lifeboats on the ship) Out of the fifty people aboard, only seven rose their hands in unison and the others, sending prayers to God and giving heed to only the captain’s words, didn’t take any notice to what the young soldier affirmed.
Regrettably, the ship sunk and all died, only because out of the big crowd, hardly seven strived to save the ship.
Now, presume that the WORLD is the sinking ship and that WE ALL are its sailors. The aggressive waves and tempestuous winds are those ferocious faces of mankind who purposely destroy the peace prevailing in the society. Out of so many people, only a few valiant confront these faces to bring about an effective change in the society but fail to do so just because they are FEWER in number.
If we stand up and fight against this injustice and violence that currently exists in the society, we will be able to create HEAVEN – ON EARTH. We have two choices now- either to be one of those empty-headed sailors who fearfully sent prayers to the God or to be like those courageous seamen who knew that God have already given them an option to fight for their survival and gain victory. Now, let me ask you a question- Which one would you prefer to be, huh?
-Anshika Jhamb