Every year, hundreds of students from across the country aspire to clear the JEE exam. However, many, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, cannot afford expensive coaching.

A group of passionate youngsters from Mumbai — Sumit Sharma, Robin Mandal, Dr Avanish Dwivedi, an IIT-Bombay graduate, and Saurabh Santosh, an alumnus of IIT Jodhpur — have been tackling the problem since 2019.

With their non-profit Path Pradarshak Foundation, the group has been giving free online coaching to hundreds of underprivileged kids.

They were inspired by ‘Super 30’ — a programme that teaches meritorious underprivileged students for free at their non-profit coaching centre every year.

The free online classes prepare and mentor high school students aiming to crack competitive exams and secure admission into prestigious institutions — such as IIT, NIT, Indian Institute of Science, top medical colleges, and even the National Defence Academy.

The mentors, who work full-time at other coaching centres, use their spare time to give coaching classes to the these students. The mentors ensure they stay in touch and monitor the progress of their students located across various parts of the country through a Telegram channel and personal phone calls.

For students who have a low internet bandwidth, they are provided with a Jio subscription worth Rs 1,000 for 3 GB of data per day.

Presently, the mentors take two batches in a day — morning and evening. In the morning batch, there are about 80 students, while the evening one has 100 students.

In the past two years, the foundation has claimed to have helped over 120 students obtain admission into IITs, IISc, NITs and other elite institutions.