On the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa is nestled the Vani Srikshetra, literally meaning an abode of Lord Jagannath imparting knowledge. It houses a unique gurukul, which has been constantly in news due to its exceptional achievements. This temple of learning named as the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is unique because of the fact that all the students belonging to this institute are from Vanvasi communities like Bondas from Malkangiri, Juangas from Keonjhar, Santals from Mayurbhanj among many others.
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences is the finest expression of the social commitment of KIIT Group of Institutions. One of the best examples of KISS'sendeavours to uplift its students is KISS Rugby Team comprising of these Vanvasi boys. Playing in different states of India, the team has displayed its quality and supremacy again and again. But their story simply doesn'tend here. In September 2007, these boys defeated the South Africa team to win the Under 14 Rugby World Cup played in London. Nobody could ever imagine that a Rugby Team from Orissa in India could do so well at the international level. Subsequently KISS Rugby Team has received invitation to play not only in various tournaments inside the country, but also in foreign countries.
Australia Tour : The KISS Rugby Team has been invited to play in Australia. It will play in four different places like Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Durban. Prepared to face the challenge, the team went to Australia on August 10, 2008.
Help of Exim Bank : Supporting the efforts to make the presence of Vanvasi students felt at the international arena, the Exim Bank of India has come forward as the main sponsor of the team. The Bank is principally helping the team for its Australia tour by taking care of all the expenses. Besides, it will also extend its support for proper training of team members so that they can participate in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
Importance of Rugby : While cricket is the most popular sport in India, popularity of Rugby is fast rising. Rugby, very popular in western countries, is a very entertaining sport. Excellent performance of KISS Rugby Team abroad will go a long way in popularising this sport in Orissa and India.
KISS International Rugby team
Class VI (Bonda Vanvasi)
Hailing from the Malkangiri district of Orissa, Hadidhangada is the first boy from Bonda Vanvasi community to play International Rugby. His father Mangal Majhi, besides working in the agricultural field collects timber and food from the forest to take care of the family.
Class VIII (Bhumija Vanvasi)
Niranjan from Mayurbhanj district of Orissa loves to involve himself in various activities at KISS. His father Indramani, a farmer, also does carpentry at times to earn a livelihood.
Class VIII (Santal Vanvasi)
Ganesh a student of KISS from Mayurbhanj district is a cheerful boy. He utilises his leisure to make efforts to educate all villagers. His father Dharama Hembram is a farmer.
Class VIII (Saora Vanvasi)
Babula, from Rayagada district has lost his father. Surrounded by abject poverty, his mother Radhika works in the fields to earn a living. When at home, Babula tries to teach the illiterates in his village and aims at creating a healthy environment.
Rajkishore Murmu (C)
Class IX (Santal Vanvasi)
Rajkishore is the pride of Keonhjar. Being captain of KISS International Rugby Team, he has earned reputation for entire Vanvasi community. Rajkishore has never bowed down to fate even after losing his parents.
Class IX (Homunda Vanvasi)
Sahadev, from the Keonjhar district of Orissa is one among the students of KISS. He has lost his father. While his mother Digiji Majhi works in the agricultural field to earn her livelihood, she has admitted her son to KISS for studies.
Bikash Chandra Murmu (VC)
Class X (Santal Vanvasi)
Bikash, from a poor Vanvasi family of Mayurbhanj district is a brilliant student. Besides Rugby, he is interested in other sports as well. On his visit to village, he emphasises to sensitise people about healthy practices. His father Chamuru Murmu works in the fields and also is a daily wage labourer.
Class VIII (Santal Vanvasi)
Chittaranjan is one of the brightest students of KISS. He maintains good personal rapport with all. Hailing from Balasore, he constantly tries to impress upon his villagers on importance of education. Due to his endeavour more than 20 students from his area have got opportunity to study in KISS. His father Katin Murmu now works in Bhubaneswar as a daily labourer.
Class VII (Saunti Vanvasi)
Narasingha from Mayurbhanj district is a rising star of KISS. He is very excited about the Australia tour. His father Dhaneswar Kerai is a marginal farmer and often has to work as a daily wage labourer to earn a living. As a member of the International Rugby Team, Narasingha has earned fame for his institute as well as his Vanvasi community.
Class VII (Ho Vanvasi)
Barial from Mayurbhanj district is very calm and talks sweetly. His father Dhaneswar is a farmer and also works as a daily labourer. In his leisure, Barial likes to be engaged in extra curricular activities.
Class VII (Munda Vanvasi)
Gauranga, hailing from Mayurbhanj district is good at both sports and studies. His father Gandsingh Jamuda lives in his village with agriculture as his occupation. He also collects fruits and roots from the forest to sustain his livelihood. In his leisure, Gauranga thinks of development of education in his village.
Class IX (Santal Vanvasi)
Bukai is a talented and punctual student. Hailing from Mayurbhanj district, he is careful about his education and health. Back in his village, Bukai educates people on both the issues. His father Chaitanya Hansda is a small farmer and also works as a daily-wage labourer.