ENARADA, Bhubaneswar, January 19, 2016
It is festive atmosphere at the KISS campus as Bonda tribal students are rejoicing a rare gesture extended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This year, Mr Modi has invited a Bonda tribal couple; Dhabalu Sisa (41) and his wife Samari (46), to witness the Republic Day parade on January 26.
The Bondas are members of particularly vulnerable tribal group and live atop the Bonda hills in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, segregated from the mainstream and rarely step out of their environs. Another interesting feature is if you look at Dhabalu and Samari’s age, Dhabalu is younger than Samari as it is common among Bonda girls to marry boys less than their age, a feature quite uncommon in India.
Bonda tribe is regarded as one of the oldest, primitive and educationally most lagging in our country. However, for the last few years, their tag of most lagging in education is being changed due to continuous efforts of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) founder Dr Achyuta Samanta. The students belong to Khairiput, Bilasanipada, Padeiguda and Mudulipada of Bondaghati area have been motivated and brought to the sophisticated campus of KISS where they are given free education from KG to PG.
The Bonda students in KISS campus thanked PM for his gesture saying that this was one of the rare honours for the community.
The students also say that the Bonda community students got their first recognition through KISS, which was instrumental in bringing these students to quality life education.
For example, last year, KISS had achieved a breakthrough when it successfully admitted 33 students from the Bonda primitive tribal group from Bondna hills in Malkangiri district.