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Cobbler’s son scraps rebel wish, cracks tech exam

Patna, June 19: Thrashed by local criminals for resisting their bid to extort money from his cobbler father when he was just 12 years old, Sudhir Kumar wanted to join the Naxalites to take revenge on those who had humiliated him. He didn’t after his father advised him to instead focus his energies on studies. Now, six years later, Sudhir’s efforts have paid off as he has cleared the JEE-Advanced exams, the gateway to admissions to IITs and other top engineering colleges of the country.

Sudhir has secured 3900th rank (SC category) in the test, the results for which were declared today.

A resident of Hilsa in Nalanda district, around 100km southeast of Patna, Sudhir is a product of Super 30, an institution set up by mathematician Anand Kumar to coach students from economically and socially weaker sections for clearing the IIT entrance examination free of cost.

While studying in a government school, Sudhir (18) learnt about Super 30 through newspapers after which he contacted Anand.

“Had Anand sir not been there I would not have been what I am today,” he said with a grin on his face.

Super 30 students have performed very well this year as well with 27 of the 30 boys and girls who are taught free clearing the JEE-Advanced exam.

Sudhir said that being the son of a cobbler was a big challenge. “I used to help my father in polishing shoes. Even filling up the form of the engineering entrance examination was a big ask because my father didn’t have the money. My elder sister helped me by mortgaging her ornaments for raising the money to fill the form,” said the lad, who wants to join the Indian Administrative Service after completing his engineering.

Sudhir’s father Sanjeevan Ravidas was overwhelmed by his son’s success. “The credit goes to Anand sir who, like a messiah, helped my son in guiding him to success,” he said, his eyes welling up.

Sudhir though said that but for his father, he would have ended up joining the Maoists after the humiliation and terror they underwent at the hands of the local criminals. Ravidas convinced him that achieving something in life would be a befitting reply to his tormentors. “My father’s words changed my orientation,” Sudhir said.

Super 30’s Anand played down the credit being given to him. “I just guide the students who have fire in the belly to achieve something in their lives. The success belongs to them,” he said.

Another Super 30 success story this year is Abhijeet of Nawada district. Son of marginal farmer Awadhesh Chandra Rajak, Abhijeet has secured 693rd rank. Attributing his success to Anand, Abhijeet said: “I didn’t have the money to buy books. Some of my friends used to lend me books.”

Nidhi Jha of Varanasi, who secured 7,368th rank, too, had to overcome many hurdles, for realising her dream of clearing the entrance test. Daughter of an auto driver, Sunil Jha, Nidhi was not certain about her future till she joined Super 30 one year ago.

“With a family of parents, three sisters and a brother, I had never thought of travelling this far. But the dedication of my father, who used to work overtime to ensure that our studies are not hampered, inspired me to dream big. The guidance of Anand sir helped me in achieving success,” said Nidhi, who was missing her father today because he was away in Varanasi to do his daily chore of driving an auto.