Kalinga Fellowship Initiative

The purpose of the initiative is to bring together senior leaders of business and government together to create a zero tolerance to sexual assaults and trafficking of girls in Asia.

About the initiative

The Kalinga Fellowship Initiative is a pioneering and unique tri-sector initiative that provides a forum for senior business leaders, government, civil leaders and passionate individuals to come together in a spirit of collaboration to eradicate the incidents of sex assault and trafficking of girls in Asia.

Created by three partner organisations, The Bridge Institute, Ashoka and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences the first fellowship was convened in April 2017 in the Indian State of Odisha. From that successful and productive intervention, a 10-year commitment was formed in an MOU signed last month to operationalise the nine strategic action plans that emerged from the first fellowship and to create similar programmes to establish zero tolerance of sexual assault on girls across Asia.

The initiative is a concrete step toward designing a common and shared vision and a living example of converting the SDG blueprint “to go from the world we have, to the world we want to have”.

Official launch

The Kalinga Fellowship Initiative was officially launched on Thursday, 11 May 2017 in Singapore. We were honoured to welcome, human rights activist Dr. Sunitha Krishnan and well known educationist & humanist Dr. Achyuta Samanta, both renowned by the UN and globally for their transformative work in protecting children in Asia and the Head of Public Education and Youth Initiatives for UN Women (Singapore), Mrinalini Venkatachalam.


Dr. Sunitha has rescued more than 17,500 women and children from sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Dr. Sunitha Krishnan an eminent human rights activist and film-producer is nationally and internationally known for her fight against sex crimes and trafficking of women and children for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. As the co-founder of Prajwala, a pioneering anti-trafficking organization, she has been instrumental in rescuing thousands of victims from sexual slavery and restoring hope and dignity to their lives. In 2016, Dr. Krishnan was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, by the President of India.


Dr. Samanta has built the world’s largest fully-free residential KG-to-PG institute for 25,000 poorest-of-the-poor indigenous aborigine children, an institute with “Special Consultative Status” with the UN.

A visionary social architect who embarked in 1992 on a social development mission using education as the strategic medium to eradicate poverty and alienation from the surface of the earth, a goal envisaged today by global leaders that goes as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a social reformer he has been propagating ART OF GIVING (a philosophy of life), a concept aimed at bringing peace to human minds around the globe.


Ms Venkatachalam plays a key role in engaging the youth and public in Singapore on understanding and taking concrete steps to address often neglected women’s issues in an environment where they can so easily be forgotten due to the affluence our country enjoys.

With experience spanning over a decade, Mrinalini Venkatachalam has worked to bridge the gap between unmet social needs and service providers, giving large corporates, government agencies, community organisations and social enterprises the platform to create measurable social impact.

Partner organisations

The Bridge Institute brings business, government and civil leaders together to solve the seemingly impossible problems of our time. The Institute prepares the leaders who want to change the world with the leadership skills to do so.

The Bridge Institute acts as a catalyst for change, brokering key stakeholders (political leaders, civil leaders, youth leaders, etc.) to build their capacity to lead in partnership and collaborate on their shared societal challenge. We bring these leaders together with the world’s leading experts and change makers so they can collaborate and contribute to critical thinking and problem solving. By preparing these extraordinary people with leadership skills to be a force for good, by transforming mind sets and connecting communities we are able to contribute to the vision of a more peaceful, fair and prosperous society.


Ashoka is the largest association of social entrepreneurs in the world — men and women with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Ashoka pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship and generated opportunities for social entrepreneurs around the world to connect, collaborate, and provide value to one another, multiplying the capacity of each social entrepreneur to improve more lives and to change the world.

Since its founding over 30 years ago, Ashoka has provided living stipends, professional support services, and connections to a global network of almost 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries.


Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is a residential institute 
for 25,000 indigenous children located in Odisha, India. It provides education, accommodation, food, health care, study material, clothing, vocational training, sports, computer education etc. to the students totally free of cost.


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