‘Instead of guns, students are holding pens’

eNarada, Bengaluru, Decemver 18, 2016

When schools and colleges across the country are focussing only on studies, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has set a new trend by encouraging students in various sport and extracurricular activities. Probably, this is the reason as to why KISS and KIIT are one of the very few institutes in this country to have had Olympians as their students.

Vijaya Karnataka, Dec 18, 2016

If one looks at KISS’s extracurricular and sport achievements, one can find the students being part of India’s national teams in Rugby, football, baseball, Judo, Chess, athletics and archery etc. The KISS students have also demonstrated excellence in extracurricular activities as four out of the 26 recipients of the prestigious APJ Abdul Kalam Ignite Awards were from KISS and KIIT. Today, the influence of KISS and KIIT education is such that the tribal students are gaining entrance to the IITs; 43 students have bagged the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships and 22 were selected as lecturers in various Government schools. KISS and KIIT founder Dr Achyuta Samanta shared these valuable inputs to Karnataka’s leading daily Vijaya Karnataka in an exclusive interview on Sunday (December 18, 2016).

In his interview to VK’s correspondent Ms Mary Joseph, Dr Samanta said how KISS (which is the largest residential school for tribal children in the world that provides free education, stay and food for 25,000 students) was focussing on girl’s education. “More than 5,000 girl students are being trained in KISS. If these girls were not trained, then they would have probably ended up being married as part of child marriage or pushed to flesh trade. Thanks to education, these girls are now dreaming a career of their own and it has been the initiative of KISS to always encourage education for girl children,” Dr Samanta said adding that more number of tribal girls were now inclined towards KISS.

Dr Samanta also said when the country was fighting Maoism through bullets, his institute was spreading education. “Many of the Maoists recruit teens aged around 14. However, now in Odisha’s tribal belts, these teens are joining KISS for studies. Instead of holding guns, the now holding pens in their hands, thanks to KISS. This is the power of education. Even Maoists are appreciating these measures as many of their children too are getting free education at KISS,” Dr Samanta added.

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