Katihar to Kennedy is an autobiographical account of Sanjay Kumar’s life as a small-town boy who starts his journey from Katihar in Bihar, one of India’s economically backward districts and how he reaches the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The book aims to depict the inner conflicts of a man and his continuous efforts to overcome all the difficulties in his path while fighting with his inner shortcomings.
Sanjay Kumar, the author, discussed his own experiences that motivated him to write this book. Kumar, who currently serves as the India Country Director of The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University and was involved in leadership positions with SEWA Movement for about two decades further said “what one can take away from the book is how as a society we can help to stop further deterioration of public institutions and education system.”
Pavan K Varma, diplomat and author said that the book is inspirational because of the extraordinary courage and resilience it showed in Kumar as a person. Noted screenwriter and author, Advaita Kala, while congratulating the author and stating that the book was really about hope, drew parallels with her own state of Uttarakhand where there aren’t enough teachers and those that are there, never come to school due to tough socio-economic and infrastructural challenges. Shashi Banerjee, principal of Shiv Nadar School shared that the book is like a commentary on education system and on how it should be.