Ban Ki-moon interacts with Odisha tribal students

    By IANS,

    Bhubaneswar: As many as 25 young tribal boys and girls of Bhubaneswar-based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences participated in a live discussion with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon via video conferencing, the institute said Tuesday.

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    The UN secretary-general and a team of panelists held talks with the students Monday evening. They also replied to several questions the students asked relating to the education of girl child, a senior institute official told IANS.

    In the live discussion over a hundred young people from five schools – one each from Asia, Africa, Middle-east, Latin America and Europe – were connected to the UN Headquarters at New York, he added.

    Ban Ki-moon held the interactive dialogue with young people across the world Monday ahead of the International Youth Day and launched an online United Nations platform for youth in conjunction with his special envoy Ahmad Alhendawi on this issue.

    Aug 12 is being celebrated globally as International Youth Day (IYD) since 2000. It is an awareness day designated by the UN to recognize efforts of the youths in enhancing global society.

    “Your generation is the largest the world has ever known…The tools at your disposal for communicating and acting are unprecedented. But so are the challenges – from growing inequalities and shrinking opportunities, to the threats of climate change and environmental degradation,” Ban told them.

    Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences “was selected to represent Asia continent”, said the institute official.

    “Several issues and concerns around education, health, governance, livelihood, employment and science were raised by youths from around the world during the discussions,” he said.

    The institute, founded by social entrepreneur Achyuta Samanta, is home to more than 20,000 tribal children who receive free education from kindergarten to post-graduate level and vocational training.