Achyuta Samanta, a social entrepreneur from India, is among 15 laureates selected for the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize for the year 2014, Samanta’s office here said Saturday.
The list was announced recently by Gusi Peace Prize International, a Philippines-based awards body. He was selected for the award for his efforts and achievements in “poverty alleviation through education and humanitarianism”, Samanta’s office said in a statement.
The award ceremony, to be telecast live in more than 46 countries, will take place in Manila Nov 26, 2014 in the presence of 2,500 distinguished people from all over the world.
Samanta, 49, is the third Indian and first person from Odisha to receive this award since its inception.
Acclaimed as ‘Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize’, the selection for Gusi Peace Prize is made following strict scrutiny by an international jury having members from the US, Europe, Australia and Asia.
The annual prize named after World War II guerrilla leader Gemeniano Javier Gusi recognizes the efforts of individuals in promoting peace.
Samanta has been working for the poorest of the poor indigenous community in his home state Odisha for the last two and a half decades.
His passion to provide a level playing field to this most neglected section of the society led him to establish Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), a free residential institute for tribal children on the outskirts of state capital Bhubaneswar.
He also founded KIIT, a group of professional institutes, to support this social enterprise.
KISS has received worldwide recognition as an effective model of empowerment of indigenous people through education. His model is now being replicated in many states of India as well as abroad.