Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 22:
Achyuta Samanta, Noted social entrepreneur of Odisha and founder of KIIT and KISS Dr Achyuta Samanata is among 15 laureates selected for the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize for the year 2014.
The list was announced recently by the Gusi Peace Prize International, the Philippines-based awarding body.
Samanta was selected for the award for his efforts and achievements in “poverty alleviation through education and humanitarianism”, said the announcement.
The award ceremony, to be telecast live in more than 46 countries, will take place in Manila on November 26.
Samanta is only the third Indian and first person from Odisha to receive this award since its inception.
Acclaimed as ‘Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize’, the selection for Gusi Peace Prize is made following strict scrutiny by an international jury having members from US, Europe, Australia and Asia.
The list of awardees is duly approved by the Philippines Senate.
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 Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), a free residential institute for 22,500 tribal children. He also founded KIIT, a group of professional institutes, to support this social enterprise.
Former US president and Nobel Laureate, Jimmy Carter, President of Moldova, Nikole Timofti, Saad Nahar Al Badah Almutairi from Saudi Arabia, Prof Yoshinori Asakawa of Japan, Prof Virima Mudogo of Congo, Prof Gerhard Brigmann from Germany, are among the past recipients of the award.
A charitable foundation, the Gusi Peace Prize International started in 2002 with an objective to give proper recognition to individuals or groups worldwide for their immense contribution to the society.
The Gusi Peace Prize envisions itself to approximate the honour and respect accorded to the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pulitzer Prize.