Bhubaneswar: The prestigious annual Kalinga Fellowship 2022 was inaugurated on Monday by the Police Commissioner of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack S K Priyadarshi in the presence of delegates from India and abroad. The Commissioner said that the prevention of child marriage and sexual abuse is a priority that should be addressed keeping the social and cultural values of Odisha in mind.
Child marriage, he said, is still a big issue across the State, citing a recent example where the police in the State Capital itself had to stop one of such cases. “This is happening in the heart of the city. Imagine the magnitude of the problem in the state as a whole,” he said.
Emphasizing the objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that call for ending gender violence at the earliest, he said reintegration of the victims is another issue that has to be addressed while being sensitive to the social values and customs of Odisha. The psychosomatic challenges for victims cannot be adequately addressed without taking into account the deeper social values, he underlined. He welcomed the association of the police with the fellowship.
The Kalinga Fellowship, which debuted in 2017, is a societal leadership platform to facilitate a breakthrough in thinking and strategy on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 that concerns gender equality.
The fellowship has been co-founded by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bridge Institute UK and FXBIS (FXB India Suraksha).
Welcoming the delates, Simon Mackenzie, Director of the Bridge Institute, UK, outlined the objective of the Bridge Institute, which brings business, government, and civil society leaders together to solve the burning problems, preparing the leaders who want to change the world with the requisite leadership skills.
Jane Sassienie, Client Director, Bridge Institute, UK, introduced the agenda of the current edition, calling for the delegates to freely interact with one another, focusing on the challenges ahead. She advised the delegates to make the most of the knowledge and experience of the resource persons.
Vice Chancellor of KISS Dr Deepak Kumar Behera stressed framing policies that take cognizance of customary practices coming in the way of rehabilitation of victims of child sexual abuse.