After landing in Kota she opened a mess in a double-storey house and became an entrepreneur. She started catering meals to about 150 students - almost all dreaming to join some premier tech institute in the country.
Like Vishvesh there are about 1.5 lakh young boys and girls who are currently studying in one or the other coaching institutes in the city. According to the official website of Kota, there are 129 big and small coaching institutes in this city in Hadauti region of Rajasthan. They coach primarily for joint engineering entrance tests - IIT-JEE (JEE Main+ Advance)/AIEEE (JEE Main) - and pre-medical tests.
What V.K. Bansal, founder of Bansal classes and now its chairmancum-managing director, started as tuition classes in 1981 has now become the famous Bansal Classes Pvt Ltd. Following Bansal's footsteps, several coaching institutes have mushroomed in Kota and it forms a major part of the Rs.20,000 crore coaching industry in India.
Most of the premier coaching institutes have their new campuses in Kota's Indraprasth Industrial Area developed by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO), the state enterprise for industrial promotion. Several electronic units sold out their industrial sheds to coaching institutes and the the industrial area has promptly changed into a commercial one.
A student has to pay as much as Rs.1 lakh tuition fee and an equal amount on lodging and boarding, Anamika said. It makes the coaching market of Kota worth Rs.300 crore. As such, unlike traditional tuition centres, top institutes not only look, behave and have a corporate approach but are engaged in cut-throat competition. Latest to join the market is Eduwave launched by three Jain-brothers who were the faculty members at Bansal Classes.
The corporate character is also attracting big investment companies. Equity broker and financial services group CLSA and Milestone Religare, which have their headquarters in Hong Kong, have reportedly invested Rs100 crore and Rs.60 crore respectively in Resonance Eduventures. Franklin Templeton and Nadathur Group, owned by N.S. Raghavan of Infosys, have invested Rs.50 crore and Rs.54 crore respectively in the rival Career Point.
"This unhealthy competition has had its negative impact on the students as they lose faith in the system of education that Kota was known for. Students don't know when their teacher will shift to another institute," Bansal said. In some cases bright students, too are stolen by rival institutes by offering financial allurement in the form of scholarships and even cash, he added.
The annual pay package of a teacher ranges between Rs.15 lakh to Rs.50 lakh and may go up to Rs.2 crore in the case of a star teacher, Jain said.
"It is in this background that getting an opportunity to teach in an institute has become a status symbol even for those employed in government schools," social activist Brijesh Vijayvargia said. The mushrooming of coaching institutes has not only given an economic boost with several hostels and paying guest accommodations coming up in the vicinity of the institutes but has also placed Kota in a prominent place on India's academic map.
Suicides still won't be kept away
As the competition to grab a seat in the best coaching institutes in Kota is on the rise so are the suicidal tendencies among students.
There are instances when parents force their children to undertake coaching and be a part of this cut-throat competition without actually considering the child's aptitude or capacity for the subjects. While every parents' dream is to see their ward in the IITs or NITs, which offer 10,000 and 16,000 seats respectively, this puts the child in tremendous stress, at times leading to depression and suicidal tendencies.
Every month at least one student commits suicide for not being able to cope with the pressure, according to Kota police's records. The number of suicides that was eight (including one girl) and six (including one girl) in 2010 and 2011 respectively almost doubled in 2012 when 11 students including four girls committed suicide. Till April 18 this year four students - two boys and equal number girls took the extreme step of ending life.
The increasing trend of suicides was a serious matter and requires immediate address, Dr R.C. Sahni, head of Samvedna Research Foundation said. Following the character of Joy Lobo in the Aamir Khanstarrer 3 Idiots, at least three suicides were committed during the recent past by hanging from ceiling fan and notes left behind reading: " Sorry Papa, I quit" similar to the one left behind by Joy, Sahni said.
Sahni added that the main causes for depression among teenaged students were pressure from parents and teachers alike and the coaching system of which the cruel gradation was an integral part. "Instead of telling to compete with one self and acquire excellence students were asked to compete with others", Sahni opined.
The managers of the coaching institutes unanimously alleged that the new system of joint entrance tests, initiated at the behest of HRD minister Kapil Sibal, have unnecessarily increased pressure on students. The new system which gives weightage to the board results was already taken care of in the old system as almost all the qualified students fulfilled the criteria.
Doctor by day and shopkeeper by night in busy coaching hub
Dr Vitul Khandelwal, 40, completed his MBBS from Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh Medical College in 1992 and started practising in DCM colony.
Around that time his father had opened a small grocery shop in Talwandi, developed by Rajasthan Housing Board for small and fixed income group families.
Soon after, like most other colonies of the city, the houses on the main road were converted into multi-storey guest houses and paying guest accommodations for students.
This first prompted his MBA wife Sulekha to convert the Shrudha Shopee into a departmental store followed by Khandelwal, himself to take up its front desk operations.
"On the tenth year of my medical practice, I converted my clinic into a partnership venture and started giving my evenings to the departmental store as it was more lucrative," Khandelwal said. "With the emergence of coaching institutes and large number of guest houses I found it worth giving more of my time", he added.