Holistic Education for Indigenous Children

About the Project

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is a residential institute for 20,000 neglected and deprived tribal children located in the eastern part of India at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It has reached about 150,000 children and youth directly and more than 200,000 members of tribal populations indirectly. As a model institution in the country meant for the tribal population (covering 62 tribes including 13 primitive tribes), it provides education (from Standard I to Post Graduation), accommodation, food, healthcare, study material, clothing, vocational training (farm and non-farm sectors), games and sports, computer education, etc. to the students totally free of cost.
It was established in 1993 to tackle increasing problems of illiteracy, poverty, malnutrition, child labor, growing radical armed movements, etc. among tribes in the poverty-stricken districts of Odisha which constitute about 23 percent of the total population. The Human Development Indices (HDI) of the tribal populations also show that their condition continues to be much lower than the rest in terms of visible parameters like education, health, income, etc. The invisible parameters of cultural and geographical exclusion are not even considered. The Scheduled Tribe population registered poverty rates are significantly higher than the rest of the population. KISS tribal students are encouraged to bring about positive change in their villages by actively participating in the transformation process rather than looking for greener pastures elsewhere. They are trained as change agents of their community.

With the support of the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), KISS has been endeavoring to hone the abilities of its indigenous children through Life Skills Education (LSE) and Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) in order to enable them to deal with the demands and challenges in their lives effectively. The proposed intervention in KISS aims at building institutional capacity and networking with other potential institutions to overcome knowledge and skills deficits in the State for the promotion of LSE. KISS is also implementing LSE and ARSH programs in 30 districts of Odisha, reaching 100,000 children in the State. It is implementing the English Access Microscholarship Program which is a flagship program of the US Department of State the purpose of which is to make the study of English easier and more accessible to the economically deprived indigenous students. In association with KISS, UNICEF has established a Children Development Resource Centre (CDRC) as part of the larger UNICEF-KIIT University joint initiative for the Centre for Children Studies (CCS). The goal is to promote evidence-based policy making by building a knowledge base through action research and other development programs on children’s issues, focusing on the State of Odisha.


April 24, 2019 (last update 01-09-2021)