Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)

About the Project

This project is one of the 2011 WISE Awards finalists.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is a residential institute for tribal/indigenous children from the remotest areas of India. It provides them with education, accommodation, food, healthcare, sporting activities, etc. absolutely free of cost. Its mission is to liberate the underprivileged children from the bondage of ignorance and illiteracy and move towards peace, development and sustainability.

Context and Issue

The low Human Development Indices of tribal peoples in comparison with the rest of the population – in a variety of visible parameters like health, education, income, and invisible parameters like cultural and geographical exclusion led to the genesis of the project in 1993. 

Solution and Impact

The marginalized tribal children (62 tribes including 13 primitive tribes) from the remotest areas are provided with formal and livelihood education with scope for all-round development. There is an emphasis on skill-building so that they are employable after completion of education. It is mandatory for each student to spend time in the vocational unit and engage in production, based on the concept of “earn while you learn.” This also motivates parents to send their children to school when they might be reluctant to do so because it means losing a helping hand for the family. There is equal emphasis on cultural activities, tribal festivities, etc. so that they do not lose touch with their cultural and  social lives. This blending of tradition and modernity has turned them into “change agents” for their communities.

The impact of the program over the years has been very significant and the number of students wanting to be part of the program has increased considerably. The level of achievement of KISS children in academic subjects and sports has been very high. The success of the school has motivated many states and countries to replicate a similar model.

April 26, 2011 (last update 12-29-2020)