Moments after taking the customary oath as the Rajya Sabha member, Dr Achyuta Samanta swore to the cause of tribal children and furtherance of education. Samanta, founder of the KIIT Group of Institutions, has been selflessly running Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)- a home to 27,000 deprived tribal kids who were otherwise detached from the mainstream. The KISS founder has always banked on education for poverty alleviation. The Rajya Sabha berth will accelerate his vision and efforts to expand and replicate the KISS model.
“I’m grateful to chief minister Naveen Patnaik for nominating me to the Rajya Sabha. Hailing from humble beginnings, I never dreamt of making it to the temple of democracy. Very few people are aware of my economic deprivation during childhood, how I have suffered and the struggles I have confronted to reach where I’m today”, says Dr Samanta.
For an edupreneur cum social worker like Samanta, Rajya Sabha is just the perfect platform to perpetuate his goals. The hallowed premises of the Upper house have been historically witness to some of the most enlightening debates on education and social upliftment. Members with their oratory and erudition have contributed immensely to the causes. Samanta believes the house is the right launchpad to help him inch closer to his profound targets.
“If in 26 years, without any formal power and recognition, I can bring about a change in the life of people, I should be able to do much more for them when I have this powerful opportunity”, he noted on his Rajya Sabha nomination.
Dr Samanta, also the President of the Indian Science Congress Association, has enormous practical experience of working at the grassroots level. With all humility, he accepts his position as a grassroots worker and opines it will be a value addition to his party and the rank and file. “I will definitely try to give my best to the areas of education and tribal development,” he says passionately. He wants, wishes and is willing to work for quality education for one and all in the country.
As a kid who braved untold suffering and deprivation, Samanta went on to fashion the destiny of 27,000 tribal children- a phenomenon beyond compare. KISS founded by him is widely regarded and hailed as a perfect model of human development and selfless service- a paradigm which most want to emulate but fail to replicate. Nowhere on the earth is a facility that provides free food, clothing and accommodation and education from KG to PG to the deprived tribal children shunned by the mainstream.
“I struggled for food for the first 25 years of my life and now, my struggle is to provide food to millions of underprivileged children”, says Samanta. A humble start up with just 125 tribal students, it is to his credit that KISS has today grown into the largest free residential institute for indigenous children. Though Samanta has built a chain of institutions with state-of-the-art infrastructure and the best available faculty in the brand name of KIIT, his only passion for the moment is to eradicate poverty. This is delightfully summed up in the legend’s own words, “Pain and passion have been my best friends- pain in the past and passion in the present to alleviate poverty from the face of earth”.
He has already started working to establish 12 branches of KISS in different districts, besides establishing KISS-Delhi for the underprivileged sections of the society. Besides providing around 10,000 direct employment in KIIT and KISS, he has created over 100,000 indirect employment and more than 100 successful entrepreneurs across the country. His hobby is to give happiness and smiling face to the millions of poor.
Samanta has a three-pronged mission- Zero Poverty, Zero Hunger and Zero Illiteracy.