April 7, 2020

Interview Times

Inspiring The Young At Heart

Goes on an Overdrive

On an Overdrive
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Achyuta Samanta, MP, Kandhamal & Founder, KIIT & KISS

Kandhamal got a taste of Dr. Achyuta Samanta’s ( Goes on an Overdrive) generosity when the elected MP lately kick-started an unprecedented initiative to engage unemployed youths.

This step is billed as a gigantic recruitment drive. More than 60 companies participated in the drive to absorb the local youths who have been languishing without jobs.

The drive was organized in collaboration with the Kandhamal district administration. It is expected that more than 7000 youths whose academic attainment ranges from eight standard pass outs to the Post Graduate Level were beneficiaries of the unique initiative.

Dr. Samanta said that youths, especially the ones from the SC and ST possess immense aptitude. They can prove themselves if they will be provided with a proper opportunity.

Yet for all his towering achievements and a rare touch of humanity, Dr. Samanta remains the quintessential man next door. He has never trumpeted about the exemplary good word he has been doing for decades.

Recently when Loka Sabha speaker Om Birla greeted Dr. Samanta on the latter’s birthday, it came as a pleasant surprise to others. Being a modest and unassuming person, he hardly discussed the facets of his personal life with others.

Dr. Samanta never celebrates his birthday. To quote him, “Since childhood, I don’t know what a birthday celebration is. I do not celebrate my birthday. Yet, I thank all of them who bless me on this occasion and those who recognize my good works”. And the KISS and KIIT founder said that the whole of Odisha and especially the Kandhamal constituency is the best gift for him.

He has been a multi-faceted persona. Recently, Samanta selected as the Chief Patron of Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) as declared by the Chief Secretary of VFI at the closing ceremony of 68th National #Volleyball Championship 2019. The executive committee of VFI decided to nominate Dr. Samanta as the Chief Patron after getting his consent. He was offered the position in view of his immense contribution towards sports, games, and sportspersons.

But KISS remains his single-minded, unwavering passion.  Recently, the Adani-KISS Residential School was inaugurated at Baripada. In the first phase, 1500 students of Mayurbhanj district will be enrolled from standard I to XII. Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is the largest tribal institution and the first tribal university in the world. In his welcome address Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KISS, said, “28 years back KISS took initiatives to include the tribal community in the mainstream of the society through education, which has been proved successful today. Today, KISS is the largest tribal institution and the first tribal university in the world. More than 30,000 students are currently pursuing their education from KG to PG, while 20,000 students completed their education successfully and are placed in different sectors. 10,000 more students are pursuing their education in 10 branches in 10 tribal-dominated districts of Odisha in the current academic session. It is not important for KISS that 60,000 students are getting an education; it is more important than, it has created awareness among more than 60 lakh tribal students of Odisha and other states of India,” 

Samanta’s work has been profusely praised by the who’s who from all walks of life. “When you go to KISS, you witness a University that stands for Humanity. When thousands of children are eating together, then you see the elements of humanism on the campus of this university. It requires a commitment of the highest order. It requires passion – almost close to obsession. Only then you can think about such kind of qualitative change”, feels Prof Ved Prakash, former chairman at the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Samanta has a three-pronged mission- Zero Poverty, Zero Hunger, and Zero Illiteracy.

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