A small unconventional coaching institute in Jharkhand's Ranchi district was full of activity on Monday as the CBSE announced the results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Unlike prominent coaching institutes, Jharkhand's Super 30 neither is a big brand nor has many prodigal students. Despite the disadvantages, all its thirty students, who come from poor, Naxal-affected areas, have emerged successful in the 2018 exams.
Founded by Manoj Kumar with an intention of training tribal children, especially girls, to pursue a career in medicine, the institute has clocked a cent percent result this year. Each of them had an inspiring story to share – from a student traveling 30 km to attend coaching to the child of a teacher, who has not been paid for over 6 years.
"We provide free coaching to these students who come from really poor backgrounds. There are no merit criteria for us and we actually like admitting students who are weak and have no sense of the subject they study as it is more challenging to help such students instead of those who are already smart," said Manoj Kumar, founder, Super 30.
Kumar, 39, has been teaching for past 16 years. "Super 30 was born 3 years ago as I wanted to do something for students who cannot afford coaching but have the capacity to ace these exams " said Kumar, an MSc in Zoology. This Super 30 has nothing to do with its namesake and highly successful organisation, which prepares 30 poor students for IIT-JEE, founded by Anand Kumar of Patna.
Seema Kumari, who hails from Tatisilwai in Ranchi scored a 93.3 percentile in the NEET exams. Kumari travelled 30 km to and fro to attend coaching. "Where we live, people are not aware of competitive exams. I got to know about the class through a friend and wanted to give it a shot. I had cleared the exam in the first attempt but the score was not good enough to get a government college and I cannot afford a private college. I hope to get through one this time," said Kumari, whose father does odd jobs to make a living.
Twenty-one-year-old Kritika Kumari, who scored 85 percentile, lived at the small hostel of the coaching institute as her house in Kishorganj is too far for a daily commute. "My father works at a government school but hasn't been paid for over 6 years now. I want to change this and this can happen if I become a doctor."
Kumar says he is worried about arranging funds for the students who are too poor to even arrange for the basic expenses. "These kids are so poor that they cannot afford to even arrange for the money required to stay in cities like Mumbai and Delhi despite making it to top institutes. We are hoping to get some help so that they can live their dreams."
Two years ago, Anima Minj of Super 30 medical made it to Mumbai's Grant Medical College through NEET and is currently pursuing her MBBS at the city institute.