An Interview with Odisha Youth Inspiration Kailash Chandra Sarangi

Born and brought up in poor Brahmin joint family, he had no support for studying beyond the school. He worked as a tea boy just to get some food and later sold vegetables to survive in the capital city. Always he has survived hand to mouth.
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Still this did not stop him being human and being kind and compassionate to others who were less privileged than him. He is an example for all of us who complain about everything that is wrong in the society without ever thinking that they can do something, however small, to set it right. He does not believe in complaining, he believes in doing and reaching out to the most vulnerable; the accident victims in Bhubaneswar. We are talking about OdishaDiary’s 2012 Youth Inspiration Award winner Mr. Kailash Chandra Sarangi. Debadatta Dash, special Correspondent of OdishaDiary met with Mr. Sarangi to know more about him and his future plans.

Welcome to OdishaDiary. Would you like to share something about your family background, growing up years and initial education?
Thank you. Yes, I would like to share that I come from a poor family of Natabarapur Sasan of Nayagarh district. I was born on 19 March 1980. I lived in a joint family. I appeared for the matriculation examination in 1995. My financial condition was so poor that I could not think of study beyond schooling.

When did you reach Bhubaneswar and Why?
He came to Bhubaneswar in 1995 for the purpose of earning my livelihood. So I worked as Tea supply boy in Jatani but I did not get any salary or monetary support. I got only free food to survive.

Where and how did you manage your life in the city?
Despite of all difficulties I started a vegetable shop in market No.1 in BBSR from 1998 to 1999 to earn something to survive.

Why and how and when started working for the accident victims?
My first contribution for the social service was when I worked to save an eight year old child from an accident. Even though I was struggling with money, I chose to spend around 1000 rupees for the medical treatment. This was the beginning when I started thinking about the helplessness of accident victims and felt that I needed to do something.

How did Sahaya happen?
I have established a voluntary organisation named “SAHAYA”. I am the secretary of the organisation. Near about 50,000 people have been helped. SAHAYA was registered in 2007. This organisation gets projects to support accident victims on the road of Baramunda to Khurda and it gets financial help from Santosh Kumar Sahoo who is also a sabji (vegetable) agent in the city and also now he is the president of Sahaya.

What are the key areas of focus at Sahaya?
Relief at natural calamities, Blood Donation Camps and this organisation in third position in giving blood and for this it has awarded by the governor, Health Camp (free medical), Inform centre, road safety awareness. For the accident victims Sahaya has provided two Ambulances Numbers: 1073 and 9338258125

How do you work these days?
Sahaya gets funding from Odisha Road Safety Society and to cover medical expenses of accident victims we get funding from private people or the donors. We have 12 paid volunteers and many more non-paid ones.

What is your vision?
I want to create a beautiful society/world by strengthening its base through support and care. Our immediate next step is to educate children and support old age people. This will make our state unique from others.

Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration is God and my confidence in human kindness.

Do you get enough support from the govt and NGO sectors?
Yes, I get supports from Govt, NGOs, as well as from the larger society itself. But to be very frank funding is always enough to continue to work at the larger level. More and more people should join us and support us.

You have won many awards including recently Odisha Youth Inspiration Award. Do awards matter to you and your work?
Yes awards matter. They give us support, acknowledgement and visibility. They also recognise our hard work and selfless community service. I have received OTV Citizen Award 2012, Jana Jati Award 2012, OdishaDiary Youth inspiration Award 2012, Pathani Samanta Award 2009-10, ETV Sakha Award and State Youth Award. These awards are inspirations for me and for my team to continue to contribute to the wellbeing of Bhubaneswar and Odisha.

What is your opinion on rising aggression, drug use and violence in the society?
Aggression, Violence and drug use are the main obstacles for the development of a good and responsible society. We have to create awareness as well as the government and people in power must amend and bring strong laws to deal with these problems. The youth must be engaged and the youth only can make a worthwhile change in any society.

Do you think compassion as a human quality is diminishing with every passing day?
Yes, the human compassion is diminishing day by day. But it has not disappeared. By doing self -less social services we can awake the spirit of compassion and it can come back alive.

You have been recognised as a Youth Inspiration in the state. What is your message for the youth of our state?
Each and Every day young people should work and contribute in whatever small way they can do. If I (without money, without education) can do this everyone can do it. We have a collective responsibility to save humanity.

Would you like to give any message for OdishaDiary and our readers?
I am not that computer savvy. I had heard about OdishaDiary earlier but had no idea about what crucial role it plays for Odisha. I got a glimpse of OdishaDiary’s activity and teamwork during the Living Legend and Youth Inspiration Awards in November 2012. OD’s Youth Inspiration Award is not just about recognition it is an inspiration in itself. I am very happy to know that you have given my work a global platform and many people beyond Bhubaneswar and Odisha are aware of my work. I wish all the best and Happy New Year to OdishaDiary Team.Thank you. Jai Jagannath.

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