The prestigious KISS Humanitarian Award 2016 was conferred on the American actor-activist and Global Goodwill Ambassador for the UNFPA, Ashley Judd at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar on February 9, 2017.
Dr. S. C. Jamir, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha presented the award in the august presence of Dr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Judge, International Court of Justice, The Hague; Madhu Bhandari; Diego Palacios, UNFPA India Country Representative and Country Director, Bhutan; C. J. Venugopal, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Odisha; Padma Shri Jitendra Haripal, singer; Saswati Bal, President, KIIT & KISS; Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS; and R. N. Dash, Secretary.
“Human rights are under challenge all over the world and we need champions like Ms. Ashley Judd now more than ever”, said Dr. Jamir, commending her as a tireless champion of women rights. KISS is a glowing example of protecting human rights of tribal children, he stated, while expressing happiness that the Institute has been honouring outstanding men and women from all parts of the world through this annual award.
Expressing gratitude for the honour, Ms. Judd said, KISS is transforming poverty through education and nutrition. This award will empower and make me energetic to do more work for women and girl children. “I was sexually assaulted as a seven-year old”, she revealed, while stressing that violence and discrimination against women is pervasive in all countries and cultures.
Women should have control of their own body, sex, and fertility, she insisted. “Support each other, help your people and your community”, she advised the 25,000 tribal girls and boys of the Institute witnessing the presentation ceremony.