Sumitra Nayak (17) from Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has been nominated for the coveted 2017 International Children’s Peace Prize for displaying courage to make a difference in improving children’s rights which helps other children worldwide.

Sumitra Nayak International Children's Peace Prize KISS


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The prize was launched by KidsRights during the 2005 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Capitol in Rome, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate to young heroes. Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Laureate has also bagged this award. No Indian girl has ever won this award.

Read Malala’s story

Sumitra, Captain of Rugby Girls Team has braved struggles to emerge as a winner, trend setter and an achiever.

She comes from a poor family in a remote village in Jajpur district, Odisha. Her mother worked as a domestic maid and father as a daily- wage laborer whose wage would end up purchasing country liquor.

She braved all struggles- lack of finance, torture at home,  no proper school, assault by her father, regular fights between the parents and dropping out of school to take care of 2 younger siblings. The mother and 3 children ran out from the village to Bhubaneswar not being able to bear father’s torture, assisted by one of the employers of her mother.

She joined KISS in 2008 in Grade IV helped by one well wisher and rest is definitely history. Sumitra was instantly drawn to a ‘strange game,’ at the behest of her friends, which was called ‘rugby,’ and soon she adored the game and started to practice in 2009. In 2012, she played her first State match. Two years later, she participated in the U-13 Women’s Rugby World Cup, followed by the National Championship and the National School Games. She helped her team clinch bronze medal in the Asian Girls Rugby Sevens (U-18) held in Dubai last year. Now, she is in the first year of her Bachelors in Education and aspires to be an IAS officer.

Commenting over her nomination for the International Children’s Peace Prize, the euphoric Sumitra said, “I am extremely happy to know about it. However, all credit goes to Samanta Sir who has transformed my life. Meanwhile, expressing gratification on Sumitra’s nomination for the award, the Founder of KIIT & KISS, Prof. Achyuta Samanta has congratulated her for making our state and  KISS very proud through her outstanding achievements.

The Kids Rights Foundation will award the International Children’s Peace Prize 2017 on 4th December, 2017. If she is awarded the Peace prize she would like to make Education reach the unreached in her village through KISS.

Read her story on NDTV