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Shraddhanjali — A Life of Hope & Transformation

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences strives to orient students from the indigenous communities with requisite skills and act as agents of social transformation

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Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is today famous all over the world. It is the symbol of empowerment of destitute tribal children. Since its establishment way back in the early nineties, the Institute has grown slowly and steadily from very humble means to become the world’s first ever exclusive tribal university in 2017, recognised by the UGC & Ministry of Education, GOI. 

It is not merely a residential teaching institution providing free lodging/boarding/education, but has a mechanism in place to provide end to end solutions for the indigenous learners from 62 tribal groups. 

The Institute supports and trains tribal students, helping them to carve out a career for themselves through formal/vocational education with inputs of livelihood/life skills, entrepreneurship start–ups. It also minimises drop-outs from schools. 

The University also carries out studies and research in traditional tribal knowledge and acts as a repository of ethnic wisdom. Many young tribal children from the tribal hinterland of Odisha and other states who had undergone many trials and tribulations are able to look up with new hope at KISS. 

This beautiful Institution was lovingly and painfully built, brick-by-brick by eminent educationist, social activist and philanthropist  Prof. Achyuta Samanta.

Protagonist of case study

The protagonist of this case study is “Shradhanjali”, one small girl who has been adopted by the KISS family. 

Shradhanjali was born to Ananya and Nippon Patamajhi in Gahakia village of Daringibadi Block in Kandhamal district in Odisha. The village is situated amidst lush greenery, amidst dense forests and mountains. It is a treat for the nature lover, with mountain streams playing their eternal music and jungle flowers spreading their heavenly fragrance. 

Yet the villagers of this little tribal hamlet struggle to eke out a living. Ananya, Shradhanjali’s father, was a small-time farmer with a patchy land. Practically, it was beyond his means to support his five-member family with the meagre income from raising seasonal crops. The Patamajhi family had three daughters, Shradhanjali being the youngest of all. 

Their mother Nippon also worked as a daily wager to supplement the family income. Fate took a turn for the worse, when Ananya succumbed to an unknown disease, leaving behind his distraught wife and helpless daughters. At this time, the eldest daughter was studying in class 10. 

Nippon was at her wit’s end. The money that she earned as a daily wager could hardly suffice. The family continued to struggle. Somehow the eldest one joined a nursing course with the help of a generous person. Shradhanjali was then studying in class 1. The other daughter dropped out of school to help the mother in farming and household chores. Nippon started to cultivate her land with her daughter to supplement her wage income. Shradhanjali was now in class 4 in the village school, and interested in continuing her studies.

Currently in Class 10

At this point of time, an acquaintance from Daringbadi informed Shradhanjali’s mother about KISS and the multifold facilities available there. The mother got her admitted into KISS in 2016. 

As the years rolled by, Shradhanjali has adjusted herself very well into the KISS ecosystem. In addition to excelling in formal studies, she has also taken to vocational training in a big way. She is in Class 10 now. She hopes to clear her secondary examination with flying colours and complete her higher secondary and graduation. Shradhanjali thinks that one day, she would don the hat of a teacher and fulfill her life’s dreams.

KISS, strives to orient students from the indigenous communities with requisite skills from the Sustainable developmental goals (SDG) perspective to act as agents of social transformation. Simultaneously, KISS encourages affirmation of linkages of the students to their diverse cultural moorings and heritage by preserving, protecting and promoting cultural diversity.

We can consider the protagonist’s development as a journey of hope and change — everything KISS stands for.

(ThePrint ValueAd Initiative content is a paid-for, sponsored article. Journalists of ThePrint are not involved in reporting or writing it.)





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