It has become a dream run for the Bhubaneswar-based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). From a modest institution on the quest for quality education, nutrition coupled with skill empowerment, in 1992-93, today it has grown to become a model hub of education, self-empowerment and a grooming crucible of enablement of tribal boys and girls in Odisha for the last three decades.
It Is No Mere Feat
More than 40,000 tribal boys and girls have graduated from KISS and are well-placed in their professional lives, while over 30,000 are currently pursuing education here. The institute provides holistic education from KG to PG in a residential setting along with skill training, sports training and all basic amenities of life absolutely free. It also has the distinction of being the world's first and only University exclusively for tribal students.
The KISS model of empowerment has been accepted, appreciated and aspired to be emulated by many policymakers, statesmen and states. Many UN organs, agencies and International NGOs from India and the world have collaborated with KISS for different kinds of programmes over the years. Like a poll star, the success of KISS has created a demand for opening its satellite centres so that the dispersed tribal populace of Odisha and its neighbouring states can have access to quality education close to their native land, which in most cases, is isolated and geographically inaccessible.
Obviously the man behind the making, expansion and development of KISS is trying his level best to establish satellite centres of KISS in different districts of Odisha to fulfill the needs of the disadvantaged tribal children.
Helmed by eminent educationist and social activist Dr. Achyuta Samanta, whose vision of no child being deprived of access to education makes him passionately work towards expanding the footprint of KISS so that more and more tribal students can avail the advantage of this unique model that provides education and still does not lose focus on preserving, protecting and promoting rich tribal heritage and culture.
State-of-the-art eco-friendly campuses with world-class infrastructure, smart classrooms wearing a tribal look and feel, had come up in Baripada and Balangir. The inauguration of the Balasore and Kalahandi branches, though ready for functioning, was postponed for two years due to the pandemic. All the branches have been inaugurated by Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, the latest being Balasore on the 13th of June and Kalahandi on the 17th of June. There are new branches of KISS coming up in the near future in Cuttack, Boudh, Kandhamal and Keonjhar. Land has been purchased for satellite centres in Puri, Ganjam and Koraput and the foundation will be laid soon.
All the satellite centres are based on the same concept as KISS Bhubaneswar - fully free residential school with vocational empowerment and sports training.
"Thousands of students will get a new lease of life through KISS. They will be able to earn for themselves and their families, and break the shackles of intergenerational poverty. Under the leadership and guidance of KISS Bhubaneswar, these satellite branches will flourish well and will supplement the efforts at providing quality education to the children at the margins, close to their homes. It is a milestone for the empowerment of tribals in India," said Dr Achyuta Samanta.
Dr. Shradhanjali Nayak