Achyuta Samanta conferred with Gandhi Mandela Peace Award


New Delhi: Dr. Achyuta Samanta, the founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), was conferred with the Gandhi Mandela Peace Award 2019 for Impact in Philanthropy Space here on Thursday.

The prestigious award is conceived and conceptualised by Gandhi Mandela Peace Initiative by Believe Foundation, Dr. Raman Bhai Patel Foundation, Africa Rising Foundation, Sunday Guardian Foundation and Godrej.

“Honoured and humbled to receive the first Gandhi Mandela Peace Award for Impact in Philanthropy Space in New Delhi today,” Dr. Samanta tweeted.


Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Samanta said,” I dedicate this award to my warriors in my mission against hunger, poverty and Illiteracy, a cause to which I am married to.”

Dr. Samanta, who is also a Lok Sabha MP from Kandhamal, highlighted how the philosophy of Gandhi and Mandela has been practised at KIIT and KISS in Odisha.

“Both Gandhi and Mandela sacrificed, endured and suffered a lot for their movement for noble causes. They led their respective nations to the heights of glory through their humanitarian principles and philosophy. They were subjected to imprisonment during the course of their political career. They faced struggles. But they moved on till the goal was attained,” he said adding that both the leaders led the nation, changed lives, and inspired countless people along the way.

Dr. Samanta further said, Gandhi and Mandela emphasised and stressed on Education for achieving freedom and peace.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Dr. Samanta quoted Nelson Mandela.

He also quoted Gandhiji, “By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit. Education should be so revolutionized as to answer the wants of the poorest villager, instead of answering those of an imperial exploiter.”

KISS is an example of Inclusion, Equity and Excellence, Dr Samanta claimed.

The founder of KIIT and KISS also recalled his childhood and his humble background.

“My life is an example of this. I lost my father at the age of 4, brought in utter poverty with seven siblings, without a roof on head or assurance of a meal to setting up two educational institutes KIIT and KISS with just Rs.5000 in 1992-93 is journey of rising after every fall,” he said.

Dr. Samanta also mentioned that how Gandhiji and Mandela played pivotal role for the uplift of deprived class through education.

“Education for the uplift of the deprived was the key to progress according to Gandhiji. Even Mandela made education free for the black. This is the basic core, mission and vision behind KISS. It’s based on Sarvodaya and Antodaya, where Gandhiji’s talisman of seeing a smile in the face of poorest of the poor is realised,” he said.

The KISS houses 62 tribes and 13 PVTGs and all live in harmony, he told the gathering adding that Gandhiji’s model of women empowerment and girl child Empowerment has been the guiding principle at KISS. Around 60 per cent of total students in the KISS are girls, he noted.

“KISS has arrested child marriage and given a confidence among girls to learn and lead without fear. Kalinga fellowship and Kanya Kiran, our flagship programmes on women empowerment is a case in the point,” Dr. Samanta said adding that the whole Gandhian thought and Mandela comes alive and runs in the blood of KISS.

Also Read: ‘Kanya Kiran’ To Become Global Programme From Next Year: Dr. Achyuta Samanta

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