Anand Kumar takes Super 30 to Cambridge

Published On: 2020-08-20

Author: Various

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Anand Kumar talks about 'Super 30': Changed the script 13 times because there were some fictional elements I didn't like


Source: TOI 

By: Abhimanyu Mathur, Riya Sharma and Rachana.Dubey 

Date: Jun 24, 2019 


The mathematician sat down with four IIT Delhi students to talk about his brainchild Super 30, his involvement in the making of the film on his life and how Hrithik Roshan promised to give the film his 100%. He is popularly known as the mathematician behind the Super 30 programme, wherein he coaches 30 underprivileged students for IIT-JEE, the entrance examination of IIT. But these days, Anand Kumar, the super teacher from Patna, is giving interviews alongside Hrithik Roshan, the Greek God (in Anand's own words), as the latter plays him in the upcoming film 'Super 30'. When the mathematician recently visited DT's office, he interacted or rather, conducted a class with four IIT Delhi

students Rishuraj, Jatin Goel, Nikhil Bhola and Puru Arora and answered all their questions. From the hardships he faced during the initial days of his project to the IIT Guwahati controversy, Anand Kumar spoke to them about his life's journey, why the Super 30 programme actually worked and the upcoming movie on his brainchild. 


How much of yourself and your life do you see in the film? 


When we were in talks with the production house, Hrithik ji’s name came up. Logon ne kaha ki woh smart hain, Greek God hain. Tum dehati lagte ho. Kahan chakkar me phans rahe ho? But Hrithik ji assured me that he would give it his 100%. ‘Anand sir, hum poori taaqat lagayenge,’ he told me. He worked hard to change his mannerisms, language and his accent. He took a year to do all that and even today, he finds it challenging. 


You have said that you changed the script of the film 13 times before you were okay with it. What were the changes you made? 


There were some fictional elements that I didn't like. The story should be correct. You can take the creative liberty to make it entertaining for the audiences, but the facts should be right. For instance, there was a kid in my class who didn't have the money to buy a train ticket, so he hid from the TT and travelled without a ticket when he first came to me. But in the film, he travelled while hanging on the back of a bus. It's the same sentiment, just shown differently. 


You were able to start Super 30, a new concept in itself  successfully. As IITians, we know the difficulties behind a start-up. How did you achieve success? 


You can start something in two ways. Ek toh hum apne mann se kaam karte hain aur karte-karte cheezein badhi ho jaati hain. Aur ek hai ki hum kaam pura system ke sath karte hain. We started the project in a systematic way, but we didn't think that we would select 30 students and call them Super 30. I started teaching kids and they started doing good, so my mother said, ˜Bahut achhe 30 bachche hain. My brother said, Super bachche hain. And that's how we came up with the concept of Super 30. The way you work doesn't matter. If you are dedicated and give your 100%, then you will surely be successful. 


When you started Super 30, how did you financially manage to provide coaching, food, accommodation and study material to the students? 


There were challenges. It was difficult to earn money by giving tuitions, but we were able to do it because I like teaching kids. The difficulty arises when you are teaching with dedication, trying to make ends meet and then someone creates an obstacle. Last year, some students from IIT Guwahati filed a PIL. I don't even know them. They were never my students, never gave my entrance test, but somehow, they became a part of a big conspiracy against me. Last year, when the news came out that 'Super 30' might release around January 25, some goons attacked my brother. Mere bhai par truck chadha ke kuchalne ka prayas kiya gaya, hum pe goliyan chali. Now, four commandos of the Bihar Police stay with me for protection. So if you start something on your own, you will face problems that you could never even imagine. 


Did the hardships or controversies affect the making of the film or your institute?


It neither affected my reputation nor my institute's. It actually made us more popular. People started asking us about the controversies. ˜Film aa rahi hai toh ye sab aapka koi aadmi toh nahi kara raha?' I told them that none of our students were behind the controversies. But it creates curiosity among people and makes them want to know more. They actually started reading about it in detail. Agar koi film normal chal rahi hai, toh koi nahi poochta, film aake chali jati hai. But if there is a controversy around it, it stays in people's minds. 


A lot of industrialists and corporate houses have offered to donate or invest money in Super 30, to help expand it. But you have refused all such offers. Why? 


People have already brought so many controversies in my life. Jab paisa le lete hain toh cheezein aur kharab ho jaati hain. They will say things like ‘Paisa kha gaya’. We can manage the expenses of 30 kids ourselves. If things will expand, tab sochenge. 


The IIT entrance exam stress takes a toll on the mental health of students. How do you address these mental health issues? 


We focus on the positivity and enthusiasm in the kids. We have started teaching them through the use of two cartoon characters Rikki and Bholu. Rikki is a rich kid with fancy clothes and Bholu is a seedha-saada bachcha. When the rich kid taunts Bholu by giving the solution to a problem quickly, Bholu responds by giving multiple routes and solutions for the problem. The message is that you achieve success through dedication and hard work. This way, we encourage them and keep things light in the class. 


On his involvement with the filmmaking process 


I worked with Sanjeev Dutta and Vikas Bahl on the script. After coming on board, Hrithik involved me in the project to a larger degree. He had many meetings with me, and each one lasted for five-six hours. I had read somewhere that teams generally just meet the subject of a biopic or his family once or twice as part of the process. Then, they make the film the way they want to. But Hrithik handled it differently. He asked for inputs all the time. In fact, he had told me that once the film goes on the floors, I might have to spend more time with him on the sets. With due permission, he had also sent someone over to my house to shoot 150 hours of footage, capturing my every-day life. He would refer to that footage often. At times, he asked me what I’d felt at a certain time in my life, before emoting that part in front of the camera. 


Why the film is described as ‘based on true incidents’ and not a biopic People have different ways of technically compartmentalising a film, and they have their reasons for doing that. I know that Hrithik's name in the film is Anand and it's my story. My friends had suggested that I have a legal agreement with the makers that the script will be finalised with my nod. The makers upheld my word. Of course, I never interfered with Vikas's work, because he can't teach me math and I definitely can't teach him the art of filmmaking. I've seen rushes and I am happy with the outcome. 



Super 30 founder Anand Kumar takes Hrithik Roshan film to Cambridge.


Source: India Today 

Date: June 25, 2019 


Super 30 founder Anand Kumar spoke about the importance and relevance of education at UK-Asia Summit organised at Cambridge University. 


All eyes are on Hrithik Roshan, as the release of his film Super 30 is just around the corner. The film is based on the life of Mathematics wiz Anand Kumar, who started the Super 30 programme in Patna for underprivileged aspiring IIT students. Recently, Anand Kumar visited Cambridge University and gave a motivational speech to the audience. He also showed the Super 30 trailer to students there. Speaking at the UK-Asia Summit at Cambridge University this week, Kumar said, "Education was the only way world's biggest problems could be successfully addressed to make the world a better and happier place." Kumar, who had once wished to study at the university, but was not able to make it because of financial restraints, was overwhelmed at the occasion and said that it reminded him of the days when he wanted to pursue his studies there. 


Talking about the importance of education and its relevance portrayed in the film Super 30, Anand Kumar said, "Today, if I am here, it is only because of education. Super 30 also talks about the power of education to usher in a silent revolution and bring about generational change. It is the best bet to beat poverty and help build an egalitarian society by giving the deserving their due and rewarding merit. I am confident the film will become an inspiration for many from the underprivileged sections of the society." He further said that the film was not just a biopic on him, but it also delved into a larger issue. "In the end, the difference between the privileged and underprivileged is only of opportunity. If all get equal opportunity to quality education, India will move ahead faster," he said, citing the examples of his students from modest background working in US firms. 


Kumar also spoke about Hrithik in Super 30 and praised the effort he has put into the role. He also praised director Vikas Bahl and said that he had taken care of "minute" details to capture the essence of the film. "A lot of hard work has gone into the film. Director Vikas Bahl took care of the minutest of details to capture the essence, visiting remote villages to talk to the family members of the students to get a feel of the real-life situation. He also visited Patna several times with his team," said Kumar. Anand Kumar said, "Education is the way forward to turn the tide and efforts are on in that direction. If my initiative can work as an inspiration for some, it will make my life meaningful." Giving examples of several students who overcame adversities and cracked the IIT examinations, Anand dwelled on the nearly two-decade journey of Super 30, and how the pangs of poverty made him start the initiative and the problems that he had to face along the way. Super 30 will hit the screens on July 12. The film had earlier been hit by controversies as director Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual harassment. The directing credit was taken away from him. However, after an internal complaints committee cleared him of all charges, he was reinstated as director.