Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 27:
Noted social entrepreneur of Odisha and founder of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and KIIT Group of Institutions, Achyuta Samanta, received the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize International for 2014 amidst a galaxy of luminaries, comprising of presidents, prime ministers, distinguished scientists, philanthropists and three thousand invited guests from all over the world, in Manila on Wednesday.
Samanta is the lone Indian among 15 laureates of this prestigious award this year, conferred by the Philippines-based awarding body Gusi Peace Prize International.
He is only the third Indian ever and first from Odisha to be conferred the award, considered as ‘Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize’.
He was given the prize for “poverty alleviation through education and humanitarianism”.
The citation recognizes his outstanding contribution in the field of education and for his humanitarian efforts to uplift the socially and economically marginalized children through education.
Samanta has been relentlessly working for the uplift of poorest of the poor indigenous community in Odisha for the last two and a half decades.
His passion to provide a level playing field to this most neglected section of the society led him to establish KISS, a free residential institute for 22,500 tribal children.
He also founded KIIT, a group of professional institutes, to support this social enterprise.