KIIT at the Frontline of Odisha’s War Against Coronavirus

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Shahid Baig

Content Curator

Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and its sister institution Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), governed by its Founder, Prof. Achyuta Samanta, have always been responsive to any immediate need for the suffering of people during natural calamities. This time as well, during this Pandemic Situation across the state, KIIT has been doing its bit to help everyone. This includes patients, stranded migrant workers, people living in containment areas and even starving animals.

KIIT & KISS has initiated an action plan, taking the initial step of creating awareness on the disease to the common people. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), its medical wing, Kalinga Institute of Nursing Sciences (KINS) and KIIT School of Public Health have come together and organized a lecture on ‘Corona Virus - A Global Threat’ discussing how to contain the spread of coronavirus..

KIIT Deemed to be University, took this decision of sending back more than 30,000 students, who belonged to different parts of the country and few from abroad, to their home safely, before the nationwide lockdown was announced. 

But KIIT and KISS made sure that its students do not lose their academic touch. It became the first University to have begun online classes for 30,000 students. Encouragingly, about 95% of the students are attending the online classes, conducted through Zoom, regularly. Seminars, Assignments are very well taken care of, and if the crisis persists, the management has made proper arrangements for online examinations as well. 

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KIIT supporting education

Not just the common 30,000 tribal students of KISS are also facilitated with classes through Whatsapp groups. Their e-Learning classes have already begun through a State based channel called Kalinga TV, an initiative undertaken by KISS. 

Being at their homes, the KISS students have also taken the awareness activity about social distancing and respiratory hygiene, under the campaign called “Project Uday”. It advocates on social distancing, proper use of mask, hand washing and respiratory hygiene in six red zoned districts of Odisha: Rayagada, Malkangiri, Koraput, Kandhamal, Balangir, and Gajapati. 

More than 500 Students, covering 220 villages have also started door-to-door campaigning and organizing awareness camps at market places. 

KIMS has also set up India’s first standalone 500-bedded COVID-19 hospital, which includes 50 critical care beds. It is running with a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, paramedics and housekeeping staff. 

The vision of Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha in tackling the pandemic has been proactive and ahead of any other Indian state. The MoU with KIMS takes that vision one step further. KIMS will definitely put in all possible effort to justify the Chief Minister's faith and fulfill his vision, and serve the people of the state in a better and bigger way. I hope that this partnership will bear fruit and we can soon have a COVID-19 free Odisha”, said Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS.

COVID Hospital

KIIT has also set up three 200-bedded COVID-19 hospitals, one each in Kandhamal, Balangir and Mayurbhanj districts, State’s worst-affected districts. In Balangir and Mayurbhanj, the facility functions from the satellite campuses of KISS, which were inaugurated recently. All three District COVID-19 Hospitals, which were made operational from the mid of April, are managed by KIMS

KIIT supporting Old Age homes

The COVID Hospital in Kandhamal, a district having no railway connectivity, is a boon for the local people. The people are provided with groceries and cash for miscellaneous expenses to over 40 orphanages, old age homes and leprosy centres in the district.

Another constituent of KIIT, KIIT-Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI) under KIIT School of Biotechnology, has been recognised as a Centre for Augmenting War with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India.

KIIT and KISS have also actively been identifying various groups facing hardship due to the extended lockdown. They are supported by family survival packets – comprising essential food items like rice, pulses, cooking oil, etc. mostly to the slum areas of Bhubaneswar. 

We are doing our bit to ensure that vulnerable sections of the population around do not face starvation. We are augmenting the efforts of the State Government, which has robust policies for such sections, in a humble way”, Prof. Samanta said, while urging every citizen to do whatever best they can, individually and to support the local administration in these challenging times.

KIIT also took initiative to deliver cooked food to police personnel on duty, who were diligently enforcing the lockdown. Lunch was provided every day to more than 2000 police personnel across Bhubaneswar as well as adjoining cities of Puri and Cuttack. 

The institution is working closely with the Govt. of Odisha to provide all the support related to logistics, infrastructure, healthcare, human resources, etc. It provided temporary shelter and cooked meals to over 1000 migrant labourers. 

KIIT Covid support to Feminine Hygiene

KIIT and KISS have also distributed food and essential items to the people of the containment zone. Also ensuring feminine hygiene, they have distributed hygienic products to women and girls in all districts of Odisha. 

Remarkably, KISS has worked dignity in the evacuation of an American Personnel who were stuck in Odisha, by coordination with the American embassy.

KIIT Covid Support to Jirang

The community outreach program included provision of a month supply to the Tibetan population in Chandragiri and Padmasambhava Monastery in Jiranga and the adoption of two old age homes in Chandragiri. KIMS is also supporting a hospital in Jiranga and has provided PPE to the health workers.

KIIT & KISS have also extended a helping hand to the red light areas in Bhubaneswar. Collaborating with Sakha and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, they came together to distribute ration and essential items for the transgender community in Bhubaneswar, Rayagada, and a few other districts of Odisha.

Both institutions have also taken care of animals like monkeys, cattle and dogs, in and around the campus. They have restricted fruits, vegetables, biscuits and other food materials. They have also adopted 140 peacocks and provided financial assistance to more than 10 ‘Goshalas’ in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. 

I wish to remind everyone that while we need to be kind to every other human through social distancing, we must not forget about these animals who are so much dependent on us. Show some kindness, bring a smile to everyone in this difficult time”, says Prof. Samanta.

COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious global health crisis of our times and also the toughest humanitarian challenge. It has extracted a huge human toll, besides causing big setbacks to the economy. Our efforts are a drop in the ocean and aim to bring smiles on the faces of as many people as we can touch. But, I am sure, together, we will overcome this crisis also”, he added.