A decade gone by : Looking Back to Look Forward

A decade gone by : Looking Back to Look Forward
At the turn of this decade, I stand at the cusp of exponential growth, unending struggles and even some disheartening lows to usher in 2020, a year that Nostradamus foresaw as the beginning of a new era, a favourable sacred moment and at the same time, dangerous to the history of mankind, meant to bring both disasters and revelations. Many philosophers predict it as a critical year signifying a fundamental transformation of the world we live in, a rebirth of humankind on a new spiritual level. Some astrologers see it as a numerological important year. I welcome 2020 with positivity and enthusiasm. Plenty of memories to hold on and blessings to count on. Wishing all a Happy New Year. As I sit down to think about 2020 that will begin…

Human Rights: Bedrock for KISS’s progress

Human Rights: Bedrock for KISS’s progress
As the world celebrates 70 years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Human Rights Day today, it’s significant to analyze the progress and impending challenges to get a way ahead for Sustainable Development. Human rights activism creates an empowering dimension by the work of civil society in ensuring transparency of the government. Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences is a shining example of Empowerment by realizing dignity for all without any discrimination.  Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is a pathbreaking educational initiative located in Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha for the tribal children who are provided comprehensive and holistic education for all round development. At present, 30000 children are studying in this one of its kind exclusive tribal University. 20,000 children have passed out from KISS and are well placed. They are the changemakers. KISS had a…

My maiden trip to Coimbatore

My maiden trip to Coimbatore
My first visit to Coimbatore was hectic but enriching. It was my pleasure to visit one of India's leading textile industries - KPR Mill Limited. I met two great personalities Mr. KP Ramasamy, the Chairman of KPR Group, who has over 36 years of experience in the Textile Industry and his son Mr C.R. Anandakrishnan, the Executive Director of KPR Mill Limited. During my visit, I was lucky to get a tour of their textile unit and found out that KPR Mill has employed 22,000 people. Surprisingly, one-third of their employees are Odias. Out of these, 7000 belong to the tribal communities of my constituency Kandhamal. In fact, I addressed thousands of lady staffs - half of them being Odia's. Mr. Ramasamy & Mr Anandakrishnan treated me with the best…

US V/S Poverty

US V/S Poverty
As the world marks the International Day of Eradication of Poverty on 17 October, it is crucial to spread the message of importance of Quality Education in fighting large scale poverty. The battle against poverty can be won with the tool of Education, if accessible to all without any discrimination. Education is the epicentre of sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and specifically the goal to end poverty can not be achieved in true sense by 2030 if Education is not given a lion’s share in terms of investment. Investing in Education changes the world because education begets hopeful and empowered individuals who can innovate and impact to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Education helps to reduce poverty. 171 million people could be lifted from poverty through provision…

The Naveen Way to Shining Odisha

The Naveen Way to Shining Odisha
On his 74th birthday, Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha refused to celebrate his birthday in view of Cyclone Fani that left a trail of devastation in Odisha this year. He requested the well-wishers and party members to celebrate his birthday or visit Naveen Nivas and instead celebrate birthday with the underprivileged orphan and differently abled young boys and girls which will make him happy. It is a modern day reiteration of Gandhi’s Talisman. It is not once that Naveen Patnaik has set an example of how a leader should be. Odisha was defined by the leadership of Biju Babu, and Naveen Patnaik has kept the legacy of statesmanship going. A five times CM and soon to break record of the longest serving CM, Odisha has moved a…

Life comes full circle for Meera Rani Hembram

Life comes full circle for Meera Rani Hembram
The sun sets early in the village of Ghasipura of Gopalpur in Odisha, away from the humdrums of a fast life in Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha. Poverty, alienation, illiteracy and ignorance plague the simple existence of life. Most people of the village do not even get the minimum nutritional requirements, forget education. But it was exceptional for Meera Rani Hembram, a student of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). Her journey from Gopalpur to Singapore is awe inspiring and spine chilling. She made a great stride from being an orphanage to becoming an ace Rugby player, representing the India’s Women Rugby team. She lost her mother very early in her life, when she didn’t even understand the meaning of mother or the word, loss. The family lived in dire poverty…

Being Human and Humane

Being Human and Humane
Humaneness is a small word and the connotation of the word can never justify the importance and feeling behind it. It is the core value behind the progress of civilization and the human race. It is intrinsic and innate to one and all. In the simple and traditional society, human lives were less complicated and human bonds were stronger. With the transition of innocent living to a modern and ultra-modern era and lifestyles, the respect for humanity is declining. The higher one is placed, the lesser one thinks about other human relations, a paradox of our times. Humaneness as a value should be given impetus. Small acts of benevolence can create huge ripples of change. It can help one wipe tears, spread joy and smiles. It gives immense pleasure to…

Odisha is Stealing the Show

Odisha is Stealing the Show
Odisha, God’s best kept secret has been blessed with the richness of culture, heritage, music, dance form. Abundant mineral resources, forest reserves, fertile arable land and water resources contribute to its richness. This natural bounty coupled with the demographic dividend is an ideal ground for all the sectors of economy in Odisha to take off. But its very unfortunate that Odisha has been always regarded as poor state. People outside Odisha know it as a black pot and for all wrong reasons more than the right. Even with these resources, the state carries a baggage of ‘being poor’ to the people who stay outside the state. The residents of other state and countries undermine Odisha and Odias, when it comes to economy, skill or technology. During my travel, I have…

The tale of a startup – from Gania to Europe

The tale of a startup – from Gania to Europe
Start- up is the name of the game in Entrepreneurship as it is a good time to be an entrepreneur in Asia's third-biggest economy. Startups are hitting new highs in terms of their valuations. Global investors are ploughing funds into the sector and culturally there is a greater acceptance of entrepreneurship in the country, inspiring Indians to try their hand at setting up the next potential billion-dollar company. Ten years ago, we were only talking about IT startups, but now it cuts across everything, ranging from e-commerce to fitness to art. The home-grown success stories of startup ventures like Flipkart, Swiggy, OYO and many more are adding to the attraction for future entrepreneurs as more and more of them jump on the startup bandwagon. All this is true and thriving…

Festivities, down memory lane

Festivities, down memory lane
'The stories of how I grew up in village, my school life and my childhood tickle my memory' Come festivities and I am driven down the memory lane by their nostalgic charm. The festive season starts right after the Ganesh puja and continues till the end of Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. The stories of how I grew up in village, my school life and my childhood tickle my memory. About four decades ago, I lived in a remote village in Kalarabanka in Cuttack district of Odisha. The village lacked basic amenities, even electricity. There was a narrow road by the riverside across which most of the modest houses were built. Even without the trappings of a comfortable life my village was unparalleled with its green cover, ever-welcoming Paika…