Patna, June 3: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar completed two years in office today.
On the occasion, she chose to celebrate the day with the 24 students of mathematician Anand Kumar’s Super 30 group at his residence Patna.
The 24 students have recently been selected for country’s top engineering institutions after clearing the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Joint Entrance Examination.
Meira, the MP from Sasaram and also among the first women from Bihar to get into the coveted Indian Foreign Service, was on a day-long visit to Patna. She was all praise for Anand’s initiative, who grooms 30 children hailing from the economically weaker section of the society for one of the nation’s toughest examination — IIT-JEE.
This year, 24 out of 30 students — who are provided free coaching, food and lodging at a shelter provided by Anand — secured their seats in the premium technology institutions.
“The day I heard the news that many children from the group founded by Anand have made it to the IITs, I wanted to come and congratulate them. What Anand is doing is highly appreciable and exemplary for others,” said Meira, the first woman Speaker of the Lower House of the Parliament.
“Anand is doing a great work and it is an inspiration for many given that he is doing it under difficult circumstances and its beneficiaries are those who have so many obstacles and hardships in their lives. My wishes are there for your initiative,” she added.
Meira also revealed she had come down to Anand’s doorstep with a view to donate money for the cause. “However, he very modestly told me that he does not take any donation from anyone. I respect his feelings, my good wishes and blessings are there with him and the children. The children, who have overcome so many difficulties in life to reach to such a stage, are bright and talented and I am sure they will cross over any hurdle to grow and achieve greater heights,” she added.
Meira also asked the children not be complacent with the success and to strive further.
“You all will have a very successful life ahead if you do not stop here and keep working hard. But do remember that the way Anand helped you while you were in difficult times, you should help others in need too,” she said. Kumar also handed over gifts to the successful children. Meira also handed over a plaque to Anand, which had the design of the Parliament engraved on it.
Anand informed the Speaker about his initiative and told her that on many occasions he was approached by central and state governments, individuals and corporate for aid but he refused. “I am so humbled and grateful that Meiraji expressed her desire to meet me and the children. It’s a big honour for me and also encouraging for the children,” Anand said.
On the occasion, few successful children also shared the difficulties they faced in life to reach the IITs and information regarding their family. Touching the feet of Meira, they asked for her blessings.
Many others were elated to come so close with such a prominent personality.
“I am so happy that I got to meet Meiraji. She is a big name in Indian politics and an inspiration for us. It feels so great that she has come down to meet and congratulate us,” said 18-year-old Abhishek Ujjawal, who secured 1,947th rank in the examination and aspires to feature on Time magazine’s cover page one day.
Officials of United Bank of India also handed over the loan sanction letter to the successful candidates.
“We adopt Anand’s children from where he leaves them by giving them financial aid for the studies. The students are being given the loan of Rs 4 lakh each and they will only need to return the principal amount to the bank four years later,” said Ashok Mishra, a senior bank official.