B.C. man’s book about Indian math program coming to Bollywood
The school graduates 30 underprivileged students a year and prepares them for ITT
A story about a top mathematician in India is getting the Bollywood treatment — and it’s got a B.C. connection.
Maple Ridge’s Biju Mathew is a psychiatrist, clinical professor and author of the wildly popular book, Super 30: Changing the World 30 Students at a Time, which chronicles the inspirational story of Indian Anand Kumar— a mathematician committed to educating poor Indian youth who are gifted in math.
After meeting Kumar in 2012, Mathew was driven to write the book and highlight the various adversities Kumar endured during his life growing up in slums in India.
“I was very impressed with his background … I got a hold of him and talked to him … that was the start of a long journey,” Mathew said.
Mathew began writing the book, made multiple trips to India and interviewed several people who had successfully done the program.
Kumar established Super 30 in 2002. The school graduates 30 underprivileged students a year and prepares them for the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology entrance exam, which is equivalent to the MIT exam.
“He has got a unique way of teaching for example while solving a problem he doesn’t give just one answer. He encourages kids to come up with five different solutions or more,” said Mathew.
The program also encourages the kids to ask Kumar questions at any point during the day and provides free food, and lodging for a year.
The Bollywood version of Super 30, directed by Vikas Bahl is out July 12.
Although Mathew was not directly involved in the adaptation to film, he said he’s taking delight that the movie will teach an even wider audience about Kumar’s teachings.
“I can’t believe this is happening to me… you know I read all these,reviews, articles and newspaper clippings on a daily basis and enjoy,” he said.
With files from On the Coast