The School of Anthropological Sciences, KISS-DU organized an e-workshop on ‘Exploring Non-Violent Communication’ in association with Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS, National Memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India) on 26th July 2021. The current world demands a healthy communication ecosystem and strengthening relationships for a harmonious coexistence. The purpose of the e-workshop was to create awareness and explore new ways of nonviolent communication. We live in a world of relativity where our words, our actions, our experiences, and finally our presence leave an impact and imprint on us and others. The thrust area (peace building and non-violence) of the workshop is parallel to the theme of the prestigious World Anthropology Congress to be organized by KISS in 2023 titled, ‘Anthropology in Public Sphere: Global Peace and Development’. The workshop was graced by Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu, Program Officer (GSDS), Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu put forth the nuances of non-violent communication for the virtual audience. He opined that non-violent communication is beyond human-to-human interaction, it constitutes factoring various aspects during the process of communication. The role, value, and significance of non-violent communication have increased during the pandemic. Dr. Kundu in his detailed presentation, while explaining why, what, and how of non-violent communication, spoke about few key aspects about the topic: conflict resolution, communication with nature, eco-system, co-existence, techniques of reframing from the normal way, applying emotional intelligence, and using emotional vocabulary, refraining from stereotyping, power of empathy, self-introspection, self-awareness, and self-evaluation. To underline the relevance of the topic, he quoted legends like Marshall Rosenberg, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and many others, who have played a significant role in advocating peacebuilding and non-violence in their lives. He concluded his deliberation by drawing reference from the five pillars of Gandhian Philosophy of Non-Violence: Respect, Understanding, Acceptance, Appreciation, and Compassion.

In his inaugural address, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU, the Chair of the E-Workshop, appreciated the theme and highlighted how the value of such themes has increased due to the ongoing pandemic. He urged that the level of awareness has to be raised at individual level to such an extent that can help in unlearning the negatives and relearning the positives. Professor Behera posed a moot question that in a world stuck by rising cases of hate speech, intolerance, and xenophobia how can we promote peace? Peace can be achieved with positive thinking, avoiding confrontation. He highlighted the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in peace by quoting some of his statements. Further he stated that the prestigious World Anthropology Congress to be organized by KISS in January 2023 is an initiative to encourage global peace and development. Both KISS-DU and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) have common principles, and therefore joint efforts will be made by both the institutes to let the ships sail in the desired direction by signing an MoU, he concluded.

Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU summed up the session by stressing the vital points that stereotyping and judging should be avoided and entire focus and energy should be invested in building healthy interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. He opined that social and professional growth depends on interest, attitude, and involvement. Adding to his chain of thoughts, he said, analyzing self is the best way to resolve conflict. Speaking in the context of KISS, Dr. Routray shared with the e-platform that compassion, empathy, and humanitarian approach are the foundation stones of this institution and the environment should be honored. Over 30,000 first-generation learners have been walking on the Gandhian philosophy under the leadership of Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS since the inception of KISS and this learning gets imprinted in the minds of the students, concluded Dr. Routray.

The e-workshop was moderated by Dr. Sushree Sangita Mohanty, Assistant Professor, KISS-DU, who introduced the guest and made a wonderful presentation on the theme of the workshop at the beginning. Dr. Jugal Kishore Mishra, Director of Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) proposed the formal vote of thanks.