eNarada, Bengaluru, Wednesday, April 17, 2019
It was a very hot day as usual in Kandhamal, Odisha, hotter still because of, with a couple of days only remaining till the people would exercise their franchise, the hectic election campaign that were doing the rounds in every nook and crany of this one-of-the-most-backward areas of the world inhabited by mostly aborigine tribes.
We wanted to feel the heat and the tempest of the campaigns by different candidates in the fray and we traced our steps to Dr. Achyuta Samanta, the founder of the globally famous KIIT Group of Institutions and the wondrous Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)- a full-free KG-PG residential academy for 30000 children and youth belonging to aborigine communities of the state and abroad, who was in the middle of his election campaign in a remote village in the Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency.
In the last 30 years thousands of poor children and youth have been fed by this simple, unassuming man, single-handed, clothed, sheltered poor children and youth from the aborigine communities, empowered them to dream of a better life, empowered them to pursue their respective dreams, empowered them with accomplished dreams and lives of their families have been transformed.
That’s the saga of Kalinga Institute of Social Science; that’s the saga of Prof. Achyuta Samanta’s dream, dedication, perseverance, and personal sacrifices. 30 years ago he had dreamed of a skilled Odisha, of an industrialized Odisha, a prosperous Odisha, a Zer-hunger state, and thus had begun his journey for human capital development. Such were his ambitions in life, but nothing for himself; his has been a truly renunciated life. No wonder he is saluted and celebrated as the greatest humanist of the contemporary world.
Despite all the heat and the dust, he was calm, composed, and serene as usual, his face radiated great passion and confidence as he went about seeking people’s blessings and mandate to his candidature to represent the constituency in the Lok Sabha citing good work done by his party, BJD, and it’s Supremo, Mr. Naveen Pattnaik for the development of the state as a whole and Kandhamal in particular.
We wondered what were his intentions in foraying into politics being a warmly-devoted philanthropist, educationist, and social reformer for last thirty years with much national and international acclaim having flown his way already from all directions and socio-cultural-political formations and he has been scaling peaks after peaks of global name and fame.
We even intrigued as to why would he join the ground level politics and its rigours quitting the honor of Rajya Sabha membership. Obviously, we did have many queries. What we learned from our conversation was really mind-boggling and undoubtedly head-turning.
Please watch the video for details.