Published: 16th August 2022
When a tribal student from KISS, Odisha, sat down to pen her thoughts on Independence Day
Pupuren Oram has had a difficult life and she feels that she has many things to be grateful for. She expresses them all here
Yesterday, on the occasion of Independence Day, Pupuren Oram, a student of KISS, shared her thoughts on August 15, Har Ghar Tiranga, but moreover, the youngster hailing from Sundargarh, Odisha, spoke about KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences).
Pupuren wrote about all that KISS has done for her and thanked the Founder of KISS, Dr Achyuta Samanta. Her words are both endearing and heartfelt. Here's what she shared:
Today is the sacred Independence Day celebration. On this day, we became free from the clutches of British rule and were made the ruler of our nation. To mark the 75th year celebration of our independence, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is being celebrated across the country. On this occasion, Har Ghar Tiranga Abhiyan has also been launched.
As many as 30,000 students of the world’s biggest tribal institution KISS are actively involved in this celebration. I feel proud and privileged as a student of KISS while participating in this unique programme. Many distinguished guests like High Commissioners and Ambassadors joined KISS in this celebration and encouraged us throughout. We remembered the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on this momentous occasion.
Thirty thousand students of KISS from Class I to the PhD level — from 30 districts of Odisha and neighbouring states are now studying on the campus; 40,000 students had already graduated. Ten more branches are likely to open very soon in various districts across the State.
Today, the entire Indian sub-continent is overjoyed with the celebration of independence. We also feel equally excited on this occasion. Here, I would like to mention that had we not been educated, we could not have felt the pride of this great day. All the 40,000 brothers and sisters who had passed out from KISS and are engaged in different organisations and serving the motherland are also feeling equally proud of their education and knowledge, they have gained from the alma mater.
Behind all our happiness and pride lies the contributions of KISS and the untiring efforts of our Founder Dr Achyuta Samanta. We are amazed and wonder how could a person at the young age of 25 during 1992-’93 could imagine an institution like KISS. At that time, he could realize that through quality education only, the development of the tribal people would be possible. Even many of our parents and guardians are not educated. He established KISS with a vision and a clear thought that if one generation of a family is educated others would be educated automatically.
If I would have not been part of KISS, then I would have been burdened with many difficulties and my association with the Maoist activities. My pathetic tale is like this. When the Maoists captured me and took me hostage, I ran away, otherwise, I would have been forced to mingle with them. However, KISS has brought waves of changes into my life. With my interests in football, today I could become a national-level player and have become part of the national football team. Not only me but if KISS were not there, thousands and thousands of children like me would have been facing a life of misery and distress.
For the last 30 years, the Founder of KISS has taken all steps to see us smile, and see our overall socio-emotional and academic growth. Even during the time of calamities like cyclones, floods or pandemics, we were never ignored. Rather, during the recent pandemic, for two consecutive years, when we were in our villages, the KISS Founder sent 10 kg of dry food and educational aids to us through the teachers and staff of KISS. It would have not been possible for any common person to think and act in this manner.
Nowadays, Central and State Governments have widened their scope to ensure the development of various tribal communities. For those who have love, respect and regard for the tribal population, this type of difficult work could feel doable.
We always think the Founder of KISS is our patron and visionary pathfinder. His sincere efforts over the last 30 years could make KISS the biggest tribal university in the world.
(Pupuren Oram is a student of KISS. Views expressed are her own)