Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) hosted a virtual side-event on 18th April 2022 at the ECOSOC Youth Forum – 2022. The event was titled “COVID-19 pandemic: Establishing an inclusive & sustainable recovery and resilience process by the indigenous youth of Odisha, India”. The ECOSOC Youth Forum provides a platform for young people to engage in a dialogue with Member States and other actors on concrete actions to rebuild from COVID-19 and to advance towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Decade of Action.
The objectives of the side-event were to: Understand how COVID-19 pandemic impacted the most vulnerable and marginalized indigenous communities in Odisha; Understand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on youth (with special reference to young women and girls) in relation to SDG – 4 and SDG – 5; Understand the inbuilt recovery and resilience processes of the indigenous youth to deal with the crisis and Policy interventions and way forward by indigenous youth to ‘build back better’.
Speakers of the session included Mr. Satya S. Tripathi, Chancellor, KISS-DU and Secretary General, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet. He gave a global picture of the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on indigenous communities especially the youth. Ms. Abha Mishra, Head of Office, UNDP, Odisha spoke about the innovative steps taken by indigenous communities and youth to address the gender concerns during COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Senthil K. Thirupati, Public Engagement Specialist, US Consulate General, Hyderabad spoke in detail about the initiatives undertaken by KISS as part of the US Consulate’s project on ‘Engagement of Youth Volunteers in creating awareness on COVID – 19 in tribal districts of Odisha’. Shri Rajesh Pandit, IPS, DIG, South Western Range, Odisha spoke of the various initiatives undertaken by the Govt. of Odisha to deal with challenges arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures undertaken by Govt. to address the same. He proposed some policy interventions and the way ahead to deal with the ongoing crisis situation.
Other panelists included Ms. Mary Kent, UNV, Nagaland; Mr. Hara Prasad Hepruka, KISS Alumni and currently serving as Vice-Chairman, Rayagada block, Odisha; Salami Shasankar, Mission Uday Volunteer; Sanjukta Turuka, Mission Uday Volunteer; Sarojini Gomango, undergraduate student of KISS-DU and Asis Thakur, UNV, Odisha. They shared their experience on the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in the education sector (SDG 4) and on young women & girls (SDG 5) and the innovative methods used by them towards recovery and resilience.
Dr. Deepak Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU and Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, CEO, KISS and Registrar, KISS-DU shared insights on the various activities and initiatives undertaken by KIIT Group of Institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was moderated by Mr. Kadey Soren, Deputy Director, KISS, Bhubaneswar.