Bhubaneswar, Mar 24 (PTI) The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), in partnership with the British Council of India, has hosted the ‘Commonwealth Big Lunch’ here as part of an initiative to facilitate an exchange between students and the dignitaries of the Commonwealth countries.

The event was organised yesterday to mark 70 years of inception of British Council in Commonwealth countries.

More than 30, 000 tribal students and staff members of the institute got a chance to interact with high commissioners, deputy high commissioners and representatives of 53 countries over food yesterday, a KISS spokesperson said.

The delegates were accorded a traditional welcome by the students on their arrival. They participated in various programmes organised on this occasion, including a handicraft exhibition, he said.

Ten different dishes were prepared in the KISS mega kitchen for the lunch yesterday. The BCL had sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for the purpose.

KISS is the only institute selected from Asia for the ‘Commonwealth Big Lunch’, the spokesperson said.

The main motto of this programme is to encourage people to get together to celebrate their Commonwealth connections over food, he added.

Expressing his satisfaction over the success of the event, Alan Gemmell OBE, Director, British Council India, said, “We are inspired by the vision and determination of KISS founder Achyuta Samanta to share the transformative power of education with tribal children,” he said.

Samanta thanked British Council for selecting KISS for the ‘Big Commonwealth Lunch’.

“It is a matter of pride for Odisha to host the dignitaries from 53 Commonwealth countries. They will certainly carry a part of Odisha with them,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.