Anand Kumar Born to a homemaker and a postal department clerk in Patna, Bihar, Anand Kumar grew up in a financially unstable home. His father's premature death plunged the family into a deep financial crisis. His mother had to start a papad business to support the family.

Kumar delivered these homemade papads to shops and homes on his bicycle. A gifted child, especially in mathematics, Anand graduated in the subject and taught it for Rs 500 in a rented room.

Wanting to do something for kids from economically poor backgrounds, he started the Super 30 programme in 2002. Every year, it offers free coaching, lodging and food to 30 students, assisting them in succeeding in the IIT entrance exams.

Ajay Bahadur Singh A similarly heartwarming story is of Ajay Bahadur Singh from Odisha who always dreamt of becoming a doctor. But his father’s untimely death put a halt to his dream of studying med

He juggled between jobs to keep the family afloat and opened a tea and sherbet stall. Eventually, he started an engineering and medical entrance exam coaching institute for students.

He also established the Zindagi Foundation in 2017. Through this, he gives free medical entrance coaching, food and accommodation to students who can’t afford expensive private coaching.

Dr Bharat Saran Inspired by Anand Kumar’s Super 30, Dr Bharat Saran set up the ‘50 Villagers Seva Sansthan’ project in Barmer, Rajasthan in 2012.

The initiative coaches children from the economically weaker sections for medical entrance examinations. It takes in 25 students each from Class 11 and 12.

One of the qualifying criteria is that the student should have completed Class 10 with first division.

Post this, they have to appear for a 50-mark paper that is designed to assess their aptitude, followed by a home visit to validate their economic status.

Maulana Wali Rahmani Another example of teachers going above and beyond to help their students is Maulana Wali Rahmani’s initiative, Rahmani 30.

It gives free residential-cum-coaching programmes for JEE (Main), JEE (Advanced), NEET, chartered accountancy and law entrance exams to economically, socially and educationally-backward minority students. Between 2008 and 2017, the programme has helped 213 students get through the IITs.

Subhash Chandra Kundu After being released from Dum Dum correctional centre in 1974 in West Bengal, a former Naxalite Subhash Chandra Kundu decided to correct his ways and teach students instead.

In 1988, he established his Institute of Physics on a small plot of land. Before this, as a teacher at Basirhat High School, he taught tuition to students for free.

Thanks to his efforts, many of his students have beaten poverty to teach at top institutions like the IITs and St Xavier’s College in Kolkata.