A worldwide movement for educational equity. This is what I have devoted my life to–service to humanity. I aspire to be the voice for the tribal populations and the poor — by bringing empowerment to their lives with education. I have been fortunate to rise from a poor leaf-picker to become a policymaker capable of creating change and empowering the poor.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Prof. Achyuta Samanta
Dr. Samanta is a social revolutionary, a Member of Parliament in Upper House from Odisha, India. He is a humanist and philanthropist with a vision to liberate this world from poverty, hunger, illiteracy, social alienation, and ensuring direly needed human capital development. He grew up in the eastern Indian state of Kalarabanka, Odisha on the Bay of Bengal, in severe poverty with seven siblings and a widow mother. Struggling with hunger and hardships from the age of four when he lost his father in a train accident, he received his primary education in the village school by the mercy of the local headmaster, went on to complete his undergraduate, graduate and PhD degrees believing in the transformational powers of education.
In 1992, as a Chemistry Lecturer he used his hard earned $100 to establish a small polytechnic industry training institution which in 2004 became the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University–which today has IET accreditation from the UK rated as the 2nd highest accreditation in the world–only the 2nd Deemed University in India. In the same year, Dr. Samanta founded Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) residential school, which today provides free education and accommodation to nearly 60,000 indigenous children from 62 tribal groups across Odisha.
Besides his contribution to the field of Education and Social Service, Dr. Samantha has contributed extensively to women’s empowerment, rural development, tribal upliftment, tribal art…