Rupa to publish My Mother, My Hero by Achyuta Samanta

Picture Credit: Rupa
Picture Credit: Rupa


This is the story of the triumph of an ordinary woman who had the extraordinary power to battle every adversity, every challenge.

Nilimarani Samanta was the mother of Dr Achyuta Samanta, the world-renowned educationist, entrepreneur and social reformer. Hers is a story of a woman who shunned every material possession to single-mindedly pursue the welfare of the downtrodden and inspired her son to do the same.

Nilimarani was born to middle class parents in a remote village of Orissa (now Odisha). She got married at a young age to a man from her village. Unfortunately, when she was forty, her husband passed away in a tragic accident, leaving her behind with seven children and no money. She fought and overcame every obstacle that came in her way and ensured all her children received good education and became responsible citizens.

Even when her children were well-settled in big cities and could provide Nilimarani a life of comfort, she chose a life of simplicity and continued to dwell in the same village that had been her home for decades—Kalarabanka. In 2000, she set about on a mission to accomplish the impossible. In a short span of six years, through tireless and selfless efforts she, with the help of her son Dr Samanta, transformed a backward village into a ‘Smart Village’, the first of its kind in India.

Her vision of serving humanity was taken ahead in a spectacular fashion by one of her sons—Dr Achyuta Samanta—who has established two world-class universities KISS and KIIT that are primarily devoted to provide education.

Dr Achyuta Samanta is an educationist, philanthropist and social worker. He is the founder of an international philanthropic marvel—the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)—home to 60,000 indigenous and tribal children from all over the state of Odisha. These children are provided free education, food and accommodation in a sprawling campus that has state-of-the-art facilities. Dr Samanta is also the founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), a government-designated ‘Institution of Eminence’ and one of the most prominent global universities, renowned for its excellence in professional education.

Besides education, tribal upliftment, healthcare and rural development, Dr Samanta has contributed immensely to promoting Odisha’s art, culture, literature, film industry, media and sports. He has undertaken a mission of national integration by helping society develop. He converted his birthplace, a remote village called Kalarabanka into perhaps India’s first Smart Village.

He has been conferred with more than 50 international and national awards and over 200 state awards besides two highest civilian awards from Royal Kingdom of Bahrain and Mongolia. He has also been conferred with 45 Honorary Doctorate awards from universities in India and abroad. Dr Samanta is currently a first-time Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Kandhamal, Odisha. He is also the President of Volleyball Federation of India.

He has been propagating the ‘Art of Giving’ as a way of life, which is aimed at bringing peace and happiness around the globe. Despite all his achievements, he has a very simple lifestyle, and works tirelessly to achieve zero poverty, zero hunger, zero illiteracy. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *