Roaming in the realms of fairy tales like Blue Angels, the sparkling eyes of Pari Singh harboured infinite dreams. Her parents were bullish, hoping the tottering baby steps of their youngest kid would one day grab turn into giant leaps in the formidable journey of life and named her Pari.
Pari was born to Rajeswar Singh (father) and Gouri Singh (mother) in Ishani village, Balasore district, famed for its rich national heritage and culture and stellar role in unifying Odiyas against the brutal administration of British rule. The only daughter among three siblings, Pari was close to her father Rajeswar Singh. He earned his livelihood as a daily wage labourer engaged in agriculture but that was not sufficient to make ends meet. Rajeswar was not illiterate but not formally educated. He visualised the importance of education which empowers, equips with knowledge and skill to fight socio-economic stigma, save oneself from exploitation and live a dignified life. That is why he explored all possible avenues to educate Pari and realise his dream of providing quality education to his daughter in a reputable school of Odisha.The poor often build castles of hope, but the wheel of misfortune often ends those dreams.
While searching for educational opportunities for poor children, Rajeswar learnt about the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) from his sister-in-law, who explained to him about the free educational opportunities for poor indigenous students. A flash of hope sparkled in the face of Rajeswar, who was almost resigned to fate.
After prolonged efforts, Pari was admitted to KISS, Bhubaneswar, in Class VI in the year 2013.The day she entered the campus with the world-class ambience and great infrastructure with palatial buildings she had never seen before, it seemed as if she had flown to Alladin’s wonderland. Wherever she looked, Pari could find magnificent buildings, one beating the other and the campus full of the hustle-bustle of student activity. Pari, not being accustomed to such an environment initially, had some teething issues but gradually she picked up and reaped the educational facilities offered to all indigenous classmates. She also started to nourish her colourful dreams as other peers.
The unique advantage of the educational model at KISS with free accommodation, boarding, health and hygiene, life skills and vocational education — all absolutely free — was not only amazing but a source of inspiration for the poor indigenous girl Pari to pursue her career to new heights.
Amid all these developments, when Pari was about to take off to her dreamland, dark clouds hovered over her destiny and her father succumbed to an unknown disease. The incident shattered her dreams and little Pari was lost in the distant horizon of grief.
With passage of time, Pari gradually recovered from the trauma with peer friends and love and affection of teachers and mentors who supported her mentally and emotionally and helped restore her academic zeal. Pari, with all resoluteness, is determined to unlock her potential and realise her goal. Now, she is an ace sportswoman. She has earned many accolades at district-level sports events and earned fame for KISS.
Pari ascribes all achievements to the honourable founder of KISS, Dr Achyuta Samanta, whose blessings and unwavering support to indigenous children with numerous facilities and opportunities created for the children is the key to her success. She is deeply indebted to the founder for creating such a credible institution for the poor and disadvantaged which is unparalleled.
Pari salutes the founder of KISS for creating such an educational marvel.
This article has been curated in association with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS).