OPN ANAND Super 30 programme i-1568893835436
A well-known mentor in India, Anand Kumar, runs the Super 30 programme in Patna for economically backward students. Image Credit:

It is heart-warming to read stories about real-life angels who come to the rescue of those less fortunate and help them to make something of themselves and dare to dream big.

I read with interest one such tale about an office boy (actually a man but this term seems to have become common usage) who worked in a corporate office, serving tea and running errands. A school dropout, he decided to give up studies in order to earn a living for his family. He was intelligent and a quick learner. Interacting with some of the brightest minds in the country ignited his ambition. Luckily for him, some of these big honchos began to take an interest in him, encouraging him to complete his education. Of course this wasn’t enough. But these mentors put their money where their mouth is and soon he had enrolled in a night school.

More by the writer

The framed MBA degree in one of these plush offices spurred the office boy’s ambition. But though he dreamed big, he had no idea what life had in store for him. Thanks to a social experiment conducted among bright office boys to put them through an MBA programme, this young man was able to realise his full potential. Today, the high school dropout is a bank manager. He acknowledges that this mentoring project turned his life around.

No dearth of Good Samaritans

How wonderful it would be if this success story could be replicated across the country. Fortunately, there is no dearth of Good Samaritans. We don’t have to look far as we find these ‘angels’ within our own families or in our circle of friends.

The high school dropout has paid it forward by reaching out to others in need. He has paid back the monthly stipend he received while pursuing further studies to help fund the education of two more disadvantaged men, thereby creating a domino effect. He was one of two men chosen for this programme. Sadly, the second chosen one died of cancer some years ago.

My own experience of office boys makes me believe that, if they had had the same opportunities as we had, they would have been in positions of power. They are the go-to guys for any information one seeks and are more well-informed than most of the employees. Possessing a drive to learn, they have come up the hard way. They master new languages and systems with ease and the only thing holding them back is the lack of educational qualifications. However, they have done themselves proud by ensuring that their children are well-educated.

Sense of satisfaction

Being a real-life angel isn’t hard. All it takes is some commitment and a willingness to help the less fortunate. One of the mentors of the office boy mentioned at the beginning says it was he who learnt the most during the process. Affirmative action provides a sense of satisfaction that is hard to beat. Those two office boys who were given a chance to better their lives ended up having tea with the chairman whom they once served.

A well-known mentor in India, Anand Kumar, started the Super 30 programme in Patna for economically backward students. The idea of helping others struck him when he underwent the experience of being unable to afford the high cost of studying in Cambridge University despite getting admission there. The students are provided free coaching, lodging and food. He now has the satisfaction of seeing most of the students at his coaching centre cracking the entrance exam to the most prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology. Such inspiring figures are the epitome of earthly angels without the wings but equipped with the power to help others soar to great heights.

— Vanaja Rao is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad, India.