|Teachers’ Day at KISS
Dr. Shantha Sinha and Shri Harsh Mander Touched By Cheerful Adivasi Students
Padma Shri Dr. Shantha Sinha, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Shri Harsh Mander, Member of National Advisory Council of the UPA Government and Miss Kiran Bhatty, Member of NCPCR joined the children of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in celebrating Teachers’ Day on September 5, 2010.
Sparkling eyes and cheerful disposition of tribal students of KISS impressed Dr. Sinha, who said, “It feels as if I am in a temple.” Intellectuals of the country have long been dreaming and devising ways to bring tribal children into the fold of education, she observed, stating that KISS is a solution to this. The institute, which has 12,000 tribal students, has been possible only after meticulous planning, Dr. Sinha said, adding that the country needs people like Dr. A. Samanta, its Founder.
KISS gives hope that it is possible even for the poorest of the poor children to get their Right to Education in this country, the NCPCR Chairperson said. It not only educates 12,000 tribal children, but also takes the message of education to their families and beyond, emphasized Dr. Sinha, a well known anti-child labour activist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee.
Speaking to the children, Shri Mander, a noted social activist and writer, said that KISS realizes the dream of education for all. Adherence to the values of truth, honesty, cooperation and coexistence with nature makes tribal people one of the most civilized in the country, he noted, while appreciating that the institute does not exclude tribal tradition in its endeavour to provide modern education. Not even very good school can match cent percent pass record that KISS has been achieving for several years, Shri Mander stated. He advised the students to go back to their society and work hard to remove poverty.
KISS is a dream woven by Dr. Samanta and a live example of Right to Education at work, Ms Bhatty said. This type of work can transform the country, she said, while terming her visit as unforgettable.
Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS expressed his gratitude to Dr. Sinha, Shri Mander and Ms. Bhatty for visiting KISS on the occasion of Teachers’ Day celebration. Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, Vice Chancellor, KIIT was also present on the occasion.
Caring and learning ambience of the institute, the largest of its type in Asia, also touched Shri Mander, who advised the adivasi students not to forget their culture and work hard to become socially concerned and productive citizens. He said that he would like to see an India where every child would get education, and institutes like KISS have an important role to play in order to realize this dream. Dr. Shantha Sinha is a well known child labour activist. She is the Founder of Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation, popularly known as MV Foundation and a Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad. She has also been awarded the Padma Shri (1999) and the Albert Shanker International Award (1999) from Education International. Dr. Sinha has been appointed the first chairperson of the newly formed NCPCR by the Government of India in recognition to her achievements.
Shri Mander, a noted social activist and writer, is associated with several social causes and movements, such for communal harmony, tribal, dalit, and disability rights, the right to information, custodial justice, homeless people and bonded labour. He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for peace work, and the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2002. He became member of National Advisory Council of the UPA Government in 2010 and Special Commissioner to the Supreme Court of India.