Bhubaneswar: Students of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) sent out a powerful message of world peace on the occasion of International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2015 by forming a great human chain encircling the city of Bhubaneswar. More than 25,000 tribal boys and girls of the institute stood hand in hand along all major roads of the city – stretching over 30 kilometer – forming the longest human chain in the world by indigenous people. Theme of the event, held in partnership with UNFPA, was: Joining hands against terrorism – Urge for world peace.
To bring home their message, students arranged themselves into a massive human formation which read, “WE URGE FOR WORLD PEACE”. For records’ sake, a total of 15,225 students were involved in making this human sentence. Guinness World Records official Ms. Fortuna Lisa Burke, who was present with her team of auditors and sub-auditors to witness the spectacle, certified it as a new world record for the ‘Largest human sentence’. Previous record on this feat was made in Dubai by 6,958 people.
The students created a second world record also – for the ‘Most simultaneous high-fives’. A total of 25,151 students participated in this, as certified by the Guinness World Records. Previous record for ‘Most simultaneous high-fives’ involved 7,238 people in Canada. According to sources, it is rare for any individual, organization or group to achieve two Guinness World Records titles at the same event on a single day.
The human chain was inaugurated early in the morning at Raj Bhawan square by Dr. S. C. Jamir, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha, in the presence of Dr. Damodar Rout, Hon’ble Minister, Cooperation & Excise, Govt. of Odisha; Shri Prasad Harichandan, President, PCC, Odisha; Smt. Saswati Bal, President, KIIT & KISS; and Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS. Be the change that you want to see, said Dr. Jamir, quoting Mahatma Gandhi, while advising students to excel in their education and be a global citizen.
The complete chain was formed at 8.00 a.m. and maintained for a duration of three minutes, during which the traffic was regulated. The 30 kilometer long chain passed along major roads encircling Bhubaneswar, passing through KIIT Sq., Nalco Sq., Jaydev Vihar Sq., SBI Staff Colony Sq., 120 BN Sq., Powerhouse Sq., Raj Bhawan Sq., AG Sq., Capital Hospital Sq., Forest Park Sq., Rajmahal Sq., Master Canteen Sq., Ram Mandir Sq., Housing Board Sq., Rupali Sq., Anand Bazar Sq., Acharya Vihar Sq., Sainik School Sq., Press Sq. and Nalco Sq.
“The world is suffering because of terrorism and we want everyone to come together to ensure world peace”, said a participant. While curious passersby greeted and encouraged them, dignitaries from different walks of life converged at all important intersections of the city to express solidarity with the students. Colourful cultural programmes on the theme were performed by student troupes of KISS.
Later, students gathered for valedictory ceremony of the event at Kalinga Stadium, where they were addressed by Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha and other dignitaries. KISS is striving to bring poor tribal children into mainstream society through its various programmes, the Chief Minister said, lauding the role of the institute. Education is the key to awareness and success, he added, while congratulating the institute for the world records.
Among other, Dr. P. K. Patasani, Hon’ble M.P. (L.S.), Bhubaneswar; Shri Sudam Marandi, Hon’ble Minister, Sports and Youth Affairs, Govt. of Odisha; Shri Sanjay Das Burma, Minister of State (Ind.), Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Employment and Technical Education & Training; Shri Ananta Narayan Jena, Hon’ble Mayor, BMC; Shri Saiba Sushil Kumar Hansdah, Hon’ble MLA, Rairangpur; Shri Priyadarshi Mishra, Hon’ble MLA, Bhubaneswar (Uttar); Shri Kailash Kulasika, Hon’ble MLA, Laxmipur; Shri Prafulla Pangi, Hon’ble MLA, Patangi; Ms. Deepa Prasad from UNFPA; Prof. Ashok Saxena, President, ISCA and Ms. Fortuna Lisa Burke were present.
Human Rights Day is observed every year all over the world on 10 December to commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Theme of this year’s celebration is, “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always”.
KISS is the largest free residential institute in the world, which imparts holistic education from KG to PG to 25,000 tribal children. It was established by Dr. Samanta in 1993 to provide level playing field for these underprivileged children. The institute has received worldwide recognition as an effective model of empowerment of indigenous people through education. KISS is the pride of Odisha, glory of India and wonder of the world, said Dr. Samanta, while congratulating the students for the successful human chain and the world records. Through this effort, the students have tried to spread the message of peace all over the world, he added.