The tribal communities have always been subject to deprivation in the country. But this man has been working like a true hero for the tribals in Odisha. Meet Dr. Achyuta Samanta who has been working day and night for the last 23 years for the deprived sections. He is the founder of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in Bhuvaneshwar that has been providing 25,000 tribal students with free education, free food, free accommodation and healthcare facilities from kindergarten to post-graduate levels.
His own struggle He worked his way up from utter poverty and hardships. His father passed away when he was just four. From early childhood, he had to bear all the pangs of poverty and grief. He worked hard to take care of his family which included his widowed mother and seven siblings. After settling his family members, his next aim was to do something for the poor tribal children who fall under Below poverty line category. With his savings, Dr. Samanta hired a small place with 100 tribal students in 1993. And after 23 years of determination KISS has now grown into the largest free residential institute for tribal children with over 25,000 students, among which over 12,000 girl students. The institute in a unique manner incorporates vocational training with formal education, thus helping a child grow up educated as well as self-sufficient. Students of KISS have made their mark in academics by getting into some of the most reputed institutes in the country like IITs, NITs and IIMs. Not only education, but they have excelled in the field of sports as well. Students have participated in Under 13 International Rugby Tournament held in Manchester UK in 2011.
Respect & recognition Dr. Samanta is working towards a visionary of a world free from hunger, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance. His work has received huge appreciation in India and abroad and he has been bestowed with many national and international awards like Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 2012, Highest Civilian award of the kingdom of Bahrain in 2015 and much more.
Mission to educate tribals He plans to educate over 2,00,000 tribal students in his institute over the next decade and for this, he is setting up more branches of his institutes across 10 states in India with the support of the respective state governments.
The Logical Indian salutes Dr. Achyuta Samanta for his immense contribution towards underprivileged children and tribals, we all know how much education is important in changing people’s lives for the good. The sheer number of students he is helping makes this one gentleman an institution.
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.