You are aware of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. KIIT, with its diverse student body of 40,000 from over 65 countries, proudly ranks as the 16th best university in the NIRF rankings, Government of India and the 6th in India according to the Times Higher Education Rankings 2024. KISS currently educates 40,000 indigenous children on its residential campus, free of cost with an equal number of alumni, and has been honoured with both the UNESCO International Prize 2022 and the Green Gowns International Award 2023.
The institutes' commitment to sports is equally remarkable. KIIT has nurtured 15 Olympians, offering education, scholarships, and comprehensive training to them. Its students' achievements include winning four medals at the Asian Games in China of the 14 students who participated and 24 medals in the National Games 2023 in Goa. This dedication to sports has been recognized with prestigious awards such as the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar 2022, FICCI Awards, Sports Star awards, and the CII Sports Business award for Sports Facilities.
Beyond sports, KIIT and KISS are deeply engaged in over 10 outreach programs, striving for societal betterment. Of them, one of the flagship initiatives is the Art of Giving. It is a philosophy of life promoted by Prof. Achyuta Samanta, noted educationist, philanthropist and social reformer to spread peace, happiness and harmony, strengthening human relations, loving one and all and extending a helping hand to the needy. He wants this philosophy to be ingrained in the lives of people with gratitude and compassion as its core pillars.
He got his epiphany on May 17, 2013 and since then this day is celebrated as International Day of Art of Giving with great fervour across more than 120 countries. The beauty of Art of Giving is its inclusiveness and universality that involves the participation of one and all without barriers of caste, creed, sex, religion, place of birth, or gender. Embracing a global community from ages 5 to 95, this initiative embodies the universal values of love and support for all in need.
Every year, it is celebrated on a specific theme. For the year 2024, the theme is unique: there will be no theme. It's a clarion call, of “Let’s AOG” turning the Art of Giving from an action to a way of life, open to interpretation and application by everyone. In previous years, there were themes focusing on teachers, helpers, mothers, children and the marginalised, centring around a specific group or cause. The theme defined who to give and what to give. However, this year it breaks free from that tradition. By having no set theme, the Art of Giving becomes more inclusive and universal, encouraging people to embrace this philosophy in whatever way they see fit.
2024 will see a shift from the 'Art of Giving' being a verb, an action, to becoming a noun, a part of everyday life. The focus is on giving itself, whether it involves money, time, a listening ear, a kind word, or any other form of support. It transcends materialism, emphasising the emotional connection and joy that both the giver and receiver experience.
The Art of Giving in 2024 is about fostering a spirit of unity, indicating that while one person can start a movement, it is through collective effort that it grows and becomes impactful. It signifies the journey from an individual act to a communal wave of generosity and kindness. In essence, Prof. Samanta's Art of Giving for 2024, with its theme of "Let's AOG," invites everyone to join in a movement that celebrates unity, generosity, and the transformative power of giving. It's a universal call to action, encouraging people to incorporate the art of giving into their lives, making it an integral part of who they are and how they interact with the world around them.
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