'We Are There For You': Joint Initiative By KISS Foundation And KIIT To Help The Needy

"Ame Acchu" in Odia translates as 'We Are There For You' – is an initiative by KISS Foundation and KIIT to reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society who are severely impacted by the pandemic.

Odisha   |   13 Jun 2021 9:12 AM GMT
We Are There For You: Joint Initiative By KISS Foundation And KIIT To Help The Needy

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Foundation and KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar have been at the forefront in providing relief and assistance to the most vulnerable and marginalized populations affected by the raging pandemic since March 2020.

"Ame Acchu" in Odia translates as 'We Are There For You' – is an initiative by KISS Foundation and KIIT to reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society who are severely impacted by the pandemic.

In the words of Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder KIIT University & KISS Foundation and Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, "To take advantage of demography for its revival, India has to focus on the young generation who are in immense trauma by this unprecedented pandemic. One time assistance is just like an immediate remedy but not a holistic solution for comprehensive development. Many civil society organisations have come forward to help the state forces to cope with this rising problem exacerbated by Coronavirus. KISS Foundation, the NGO affiliate of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India (home for 60,000 indigenous) children who receive an education free of cost has extended a helping hand of parental affection and adopted 100 orphan children from all over Odisha".

While keeping focus on the major tenants of SDGs like leaving no one behind, mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing, strengthening institutions for integrated solutions, effective implementation and harnessing science, technology and innovation; both the institutions have been working relentlessly for the 'greater good'.

The first wave of the pandemic saw KISS Foundation and KIIT University undertake various initiatives like:

  • Setting up of a dedicated 500 bedded COVID Hospital with 50 critical care units in the capital city of Bhubaneswar in collaboration with the State Government.
  • The satellite schools of KISS Foundation in various districts of the state were converted into COVID hospitals and quarantine centres in collaboration with the State Government.
  • Delivery of food items, books and other necessary items to the students of KISS residing in different districts of the state.
  • Using virtual mediums and television to ensure that the education of students do not get hampered and awareness creation and information dissemination about COVID-19 and associated concerns in the remotest parts of the state.
  • Providing counselling support using Tele-counselling cell to meet the needs of people all across the State.
  • KIIT-Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI) is recognised as a Centre for Augmenting War with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. KIIT-TBI is responsible for implementing this program in East & NE.
  • Research and surveys on behalf of UN agencies for policy impact to strengthen governance structures for meeting exigencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from continuing with the above-mentioned initiatives, KISS Foundation and KIIT University under the "Ame Acchu" initiative have further expanded their scope to reach out to the unreached.

  • Providing dry ration and nutritious cooked food to the most vulnerable and marginalized in 16 most backward districts of the state. The districts include Bolangir, Gajapati, Ganjam, Boudh, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabrangpur, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Sundargarh.

  • Some of the groups catered to include residents in orphanages, leper homes, people living on the streets, widows, elderly and old aged residents in old age homes and indigenous populations. Two meals are provided every day to those in need. It not only addresses hunger but, also ensures adequate nutrition. We have reached around 2,00,000 individuals through this initiative.
  • Providing cooked meals and other daily use necessities to families battling COVID-19 and unable to venture out to meet their daily needs and necessities.
  • Pick up and drop facilities for the elderly and vulnerable for COVID-19 testing and vaccination programmes in Bhubaneswar. We have reached out to approximately 1000 people under this initiative.
  • Facilitating in getting access to essential medicines and treatment for individuals that is difficult to obtain in certain instances.
  • Facilitating the return of individuals stuck in different parts of the country back to their hometowns in Odisha. We were instrumental in getting back a family with no financial resources or support, who were stuck in Goa. They were brought back to their home town Malkangiri in Odisha. The wife was 8 months pregnant and the family had appealed in social media for help.
  • Feeding stray animals like dogs, cattle, monkeys, etc. who are unable to get easy access to food due to prolonged lockdowns in the state.
  • A functional IVRS system in 2 districts of the state that has been providing relevant and upto date information on various COVID-19 related concerns, safety protocols to be followed, interviews with concerned officials to update communities about the do's and don't's amongst other useful and relevant information.
  • A functional IVRS system in 2 districts of the state that has been providing relevant and upto date information on various COVID-19 related concerns, safety protocols to be followed, interviews with concerned officials to update communities about the do's and don't's amongst other useful and relevant information.

This initiative is unique in the way that it was designed and driven by the youth volunteers of KISS foundation working in different districts of the state. The youth volunteers who have been trained as 'agents of change' under Project UDAY (an initiative by KISS Foundation with support from UNFPA and REC Foundation) have been at the forefront in reaching out to those 'at the margins'.

From raising resources to identifying those in need to sourcing goods, preparation and distribution – the youth volunteers of KISS Foundation have been the real '(S) HERO'S who have risen to the occasion as true 'Catalysts of Change'.


Being compassionate, kind and empathetic are the 3 pillars on which 'Art of Giving' – a humanitarian movement engaged in spreading peace and happiness, kindness and generosity was initiated by KISS Foundation and KIIT University in 2013. Under the aegis of Art of Giving and the humanitarian efforts and civic engagement of the institutions exhibited during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has won second place in the 2021 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship by Talloires Network & McJannet Foundation, USA.

Also Read: Project UDAY: How Odisha Institute Is Creating 'Change Agents' For Marginalized Tribals

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Contributors

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences

contributor

KISS Foundation is the world's largest tribal residential academic institution, providing free education, accommodation, healthcare, food & vocational training for over 60,000 indigenous youth.

Kishan Rao A S

Kishan Rao A S

Associate Manager, Growth and Expansion

He believes in the philosophy of it is not a race to win but to create his own track. He has his opinions and realizes that every day is a learning.

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