National Girl Child Day was celebrated by ‘Kanya Kiran’, a unique initiative of KIIT & KISS, across 34 places including 30 district headquarters of Odisha on 24th January 2021. On the occasion, a national virtual webinar on ‘Kanya Kiran – Educating Girl Child for Building an Equitable Society’ was organized at KIIT. Dr. Sunitha Krishnan, Founder, Prajjwala; Dr. Smita Premchander, Head, Sampark & Adjunct Professor, IIM Ahmedabad; Suryamani Roul, Veteran Development Professional; and Dutee Chand, Sprinter & KIIT student  joined as speakers and addressed participants.

In her keynote speech, Dr. Sunitha Krishnan said, education is a means to create a gender-just society. It gives power to each one to live with the dreams each one has, she stated. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Smita Premchander said, “Education should aim towards breaking the shackles of inequality in a patriarchal society. Skill Development and life skills in particular need to at the core of one’s focus while deploying education as a tool of empowerment”. Mr. Roul said, public investment in education and especially in the field of girl child education needs to be prioritized. Action based research and policy based intervention to integrate knowledge, skill and attitude needs to get introduced in policy making, he added.

In his welcome address, Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS said, Kanya Kiran is a platform to promote the girl child, to protect the women, to empower the girl child through education. “Education is the third eye of a child”, he added. Among others, Prof. H. K. Mohanty, VC, KIIT Deemed to be university; Prof. Sasmita Samanta, VC-in-Charge, KISS Deemed to be University; Prof. Gyan Ranjan Mohanty, Registrar, KIIT DU and Dr. P. K. Routray, Registrar, KISS DU also spoke on the topic.

On the occasion girl achievers Abhilipsa Bhol, Sushri Divyadarshini, Yasoda Pandey and Sarita Kolaka were felicitated. The district level toppers in the Matriculation Exam (among Girls) in 2020 and others girls who have excelled in different spheres of life were felicitated with cash prizes in each district. The primary objectives of Kanya Kiran Campaign have been to ensure empowerment of girl children and women, their social rights, to prevent vicious violence against them, to generate awareness about different schemes for the sake of women and girl children and to stop women trafficking. Kanya Kiran Mission commenced in 2018 at the behest of Dr. Achyuta Samanta.