Talking Development where it matters the most!


Speakers from diverse sectors


Delegates from Across the World


Students over 50+ Universities


Social Entrepreneurs & Activists

Kalahandi Dialogue

Talking Development where it matters the Most!

Kalahandi Dialogue is a unique platform for engaging global leaders, policy makers, development practitioners, entrepreneurs& social entrepreneurs, investors & impact investors, public intellectuals and the youth in the global development discourse. It aims to offer an insightful discourse on development interventions and solutions that have emerged from the independent and collaborative realms of public policy, entrepreneurship and social innovation. The Forum will interrogate whether it has led to enhanced capabilities of communities and individuals, increased socio-economic and political participation, mitigated social and economic exclusion, advanced global social justice and developed global citizenship.

Why Kalahandi?

To discuss and understand multiple perspectives of development, it is imperative to take the pain to travel to places, where the realities of development are actually lived; and not do so from a distant perch.

There could be no better place than Kalahandi to host a conclave dedicated to effecting positive societal changes and exploring sustainable transformational solutions to world’s pressing challenges. Not long ago, Kalahandi epitomized under-development and had pricked the nation’s conscience for its inaccessibility, crippling famines, abject poverty, malnutrition, hunger and starvation. Today, Kalahandi is emerging as truly a remarkable development success story; owing to the right policies, proper implementation of development schemes, political will and innovative grassroots solutions. Thus, Kalahandi- the name symbolizes hope and resilience.

Who will Attend?

This Conclave will bring together around 500 delegates; including 200 university students, 100 organizations, dozens of social entrepreneurs & activists from diverse sectors and geographies, to connect and collaborate over important issues of common interest.

We firmly believe that bringing together creative and visionary leaders, thinkers, innovators, and local communities, to inspire and challenge each other in a collective effort, will lead to sustainable, transformative solutions and create the greatest possible impact. Acknowledging that both evidences and experiences are important aspects of any development dialogue, Kalahandi Dialogue will also feature cultural showcases (such as ethnic music and dance, paintings, cuisine, healing practices, and tribal way of life) and site visits to our partner NGOs/ Social enterprises working in the field and transformational cases/stories from the grassroots.

Kalahandi Declaration

Kalahandi Dialogue will be an annual Forum and will issue a “Kalahandi Declaration”, each year, to be submitted to the United Nations, other multilateral agencies, global funding and philanthropic agencies, heads of governments, ambassadors and civil society organizations at large.

We assure you that you will find yourself coming back to the conclave year-after-year for inspiration and ideas.

About Kalahandi

Kalahandi district, located in the south-western part of Odisha state, borders Chhattisgarh state. Kalahandi literally means ‘pot of arts’. This name has been possibly derived from “Gudahandi Caves” containing pre-historic paintings in red and black colors. It is well known, not only for its rich flora, fauna, and minerals but also as a representative of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage. Kalahandi, along with Koraput and Bastar was part of Kantara referred in Ramayana and Mahabharata. After Indian independence, Kalahandi joined with the Union of India on 1 January 1948.

Kalahandi is the melting point of southern Odisha and Western Odisha with the significant tribal population. The beautiful amalgamation of tribal culture, tradition, languages, and belief with that of the mainstream Hindu culture have made Kalahandi region rich with culture and festivals. Chhatar Jatra, Khandabasa, and Nuakhai are among the major festival celebrated here. Some of the dance forms found in Kalahandi are Dalkhai, Jaiphula, Rasarkeli, Sajani, Ghumura, Madali, Dandari, Dhab, Bajasalia etc. The language spoken by the people of Kalahandi is known as Kalahandia, a local dialect of Odia. Other languages include Kui, Bharti, Parji, and Bhunjia. Kalahandi is a rich land in terms of art and craft. Stone from Kalahandi is well known to make jewelry. Habasipuri pattern is well established in handloom Sarees with a GI tag registered with Chichaiguda Weaver’s Co-operative society, Chichaiguda. Woodcraft from Khaipadar is famous for export and also huge demand in the domestic market.
Kalahandi is largely an agriculture-based economy. The major crops grown in the district are rice, wheat, tomato, brinjal, beans, chilly, pumpkin and various pulses such as cowpea, pigeon pea, and black gram. Kalahandi is also emerging as an industrial hub with Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL), making a major investment by establishing a 1 MTPA Alumina Refinery and 75 MW Captive Power Plant at Lanjigarh.

Kalahandi is also blessed with natural beauty, lush green forests and waterfalls, not to mention about its rich cultural and architectural marvels. Some of the must-visit places nearby Bhawanipatna are Phurli Jharna Falls, Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, Jakham, Zilla Sangrahalaya, Kalahandi Palace and Manikeshwari Temple.



09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

iPolicy for Young Leaders

09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Inaugural Ceremony & messages from Global Leaders

04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Opening Plenary

05:00 PM - 06:15 PM

Cultural Programs

06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

Networking Dinner

08:30 PM - 10:00 PM


Session 1: Grassroots Conversation

09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Session 2: (Panel Discussion)

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Session 3 & 4: (Panel Discussion)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Coffee Break

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Session 5: (Social Entrepreneurs pitching their ideas)

12:30 PM - 01:30 PM

Networking Lunch

01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

Session 6: (Panel Discussion)

02:30 PM - 03:30 PM

Session 7 & 8: (Panel Discussion)

03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

Session 9 & 10: (Panel Discussion)

04:30 PM - 05:30 PM

Session 11: (Panel Discussion)

05:30 PM - 06:30 PM

Cultural Program

06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

Networking Dinner

08:30 PM - 10:00 PM


Sessions 12 & 13: (Panel Discussion)

09:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Session 14: (Panel Discussion)

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Session 15 & 16: (Panel Discussion)

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Coffee Break

12:30 PM - 01:00 PM

Closing Plenary

01:00 PM - 02:00 PM




Kalahandi Dialogue is proud to announce that the Centre for Civil Society is hosting its signature course on public policy, ‘íPolicy for Young Leaders’ on Day 1 of the conclave. Young professionals hold the power to change the future. To channel their energy towards securing a better society, the Centre for Civil Society has curated the ‘íPolicy for Young Leaders’ course, with a variety of interactive learning methods designed to provide participants with opportunities to explore and share policy-based solutions to social problems. This is a great opportunity for undergraduates, graduates, post-graduates and recent graduates who have just started working – to channelise and strengthen their leadership skills for social good.

Social Pitch

We want to establish the entrepreneurial mindset in small-town & rural India.


Kalahandi Dialogue is committed to unlock the potential and to further the spirit of Innovation, Inspiration and Entrepreneurship far beyond the confines of urban India. Together with you we can make it possible. We are pleased to invite social entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country to come and pitch their ideas across our audience- which includes, but not limited to, marquee VCs impact investors, accomplished entrepreneurs, mentors and other stakeholders of the start ecosystem.

The Social Pitch at Kalahandi Dialogue is an idea incubator and business plan competition, and provides emerging social entrepreneurs and start-ups with an opportunity to receive funding, to be mentored and to showcase their idea & project to the best minds in the ecosystem. Best social enterprise ideas will be selected from a pool of applicants. Could it be YOU?

Please mail the Executive Summary of your Idea(s)/innovations with any other details and requirements to on or before the 31st August 2018.


How are the speakers selected?

They have been selected for their expertise, national & international standing & practical experience of the subject matter. They bring a content-rich, thoughtful, incisive and solution-driven understanding of Indian, Asian and global issues pertaining to the contexts chosen here in the conclave.

I believe, I have something unique/valuable to add/share with other delegates. I want to be a speaker/ panelist at the conclave. What do I do?

We request you to mail us your resume along with the details of your domain expertise by 15th August 2018. We would get back to you as soon as possible. Our contact details and mail ids are provided on the website.

How are the students selected?

They are selected from among various reputed universities and colleges based on their Statement of Purpose (SOP) submitted on the registration page of our website.

How to register for the conclave?

For delegates, we have a registration page on our website, request you to kindly follow the instructions and update all the required information on or before 31stof August 2018. We will get back to you as early as possible and expect you too to join us.

For students, who wish to attend the conclave, are requested to fill up the Statement of Purpose (SOP) on the registration page and submit it on or before 31stof August 2018 for our selection process. We will intimate you about your selection and subsequent procedures to join us.

What is the registration fee?

There is no registration fee for the conclave.

When and where is the event taking place? How to reach the venue?

The conclave is to be held in the town of Bhawanipatna, the district headquarter of Kalahandi district in Odisha, India from 28th September to 30th September 2018.

How to reach:

By air:

The nearest airports are located at Raipur (252km), followed by Vishakhapatnam (317 km), and Bhubaneswar (426km). We would be arranging conveyance (to-and-fro) from Raipur, Vishakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar airport.

By railways:

The nearest railway stations are located at Bhawanipatna, Kesinga (35 km from Bhawanipatna) and Titlagarh (65 km from Bhawanipatna).

The following trains are available from Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Vishakhapatnam to the above-mentioned railway stations:-

From Bhubaneswar to Bhawanipatna –

S. No.Train Name and NumberDeparture timeArrival timeRunning status
1BBS BWIP Link Express (18437)19:358:00Daily


From Vishakhapatnam to Kesinga-

S. No.Train Name and NumberDeparture timeArrival timeRunning status
1BAND SBP Express (22838)20:5502:08Friday
2DHARTI AABA Express (22838)01:0506:33Friday
3TPTY BSP Express (17482)05:0010:38Monday and Friday
4Dhanbad Express (13352)15:3521:23Daily
5VSKP KRBA Express (18518)19:5501:48Daily


From Raipur to Kesinga-

S. No.Train Name and NumberDeparture timeArrival timeRunning status
1ADI PURI Express (12844)16:5020:40Monday, Tuesday, Friday & Sunday
2GIMB PURI Superfast Express (22973)03:1507:15Friday
3Samta Express (12808)07:2011:30Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
4KRBA VSKP Express (18517)20:1000:20Daily

How is the weather at the location? Are there any particulars we need to bring in or pay attention to?

Bhawanipatna has got a tropical climate. Temperatures remain moderate throughout the year. The city receives about 1,300 mm of rain, mostly in the monsoon season from late June to early October. The expected temperature in Bhawanipatna is predicted to be around 34℃ in the daytime with light showers during September, therefore it is advised to bring in your umbrella/raincoat for your convenience.

How about the lodging & boarding arrangements in Bhawanipatna?

Our team would ensure accommodation and fooding for all our attendees within or nearby Bhawanipatna town with transportation facility to & fro to the event location. It is advised to reach Bhawanipatna by the morning of 28th September 2018 and depart Bhawanipatna on 30th September afternoon/evening. However, our team would facilitate your travel plans as per your convenience.

I am told that Kalahandi is a Naxal affected district! Do I have to worry about my security?

Naxalism is a reality in Kalahandi, but it’s only limited to the remote pockets of the district. The district headquarter town Bhawanipatna is as safe as any other city/town in the country. In fact, the district of Kalahandi has one of the lowest crime rates amongst other districts in the entire country.

However, having said that, we have adequate security apparatus and preparation to safeguard your security and wellbeing, which is one of our prime motives. The local law-enforcement authorities, along with our own team of security personals, would be providing round-the-clock security to the attendees. We ensure that you shall have refreshing memories while heading back home.

What are the places to see nearby Bhawanipatna?

Kalahandi district is blessed with natural beauty, lush green forests and waterfalls, not to mention about its rich cultural and architectural marvels.

Some of the must-visit places nearby Bhawanipatna are:-

  1. Phurli Jharna Falls: A perennial waterfall of about 16 meters high, Phurli Jharan located around 15 km from Bhawanipatna, has a special charm of its own. The multi-colored rainbows created by the sun-rays falling on the scattered water particles of the fall create a thrilling and magical ambiance.
  1. Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary: Present on SH-44 Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in Kalahandi district and a very popular tourist attraction of Odisha in India. Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is 12 km (7.5 mi) from Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi district. The sanctuary covers an area of 255 km2 (98 sq mi). This sanctuary is home to many wildlife species like tiger, leopard, gaur, sambar, nilgai, barking deer, mouse deer, a wide variety of birds and reptiles
  2. Jakham: Jakham is a tourist attraction on SH-44 (20 km away). It has a wooden guest house so that one can spend some time to feel the natural beauty and a glimpse of nature and wildlife.
  3. Zilla Sangrahalaya: Zilla Sangrahalaya or the District Museum, Bhawanipatna has different artifacts, manuscripts, paintings and many rare items from pre-historic age (Asurgarh coins, Gudahandi paintings etc) depicting the ancient history of the Kalahandi region. Place: Near New Bus Stand, NH-26, Bhawanipatna.
  1. Kalahandi Palace: Located in Bhawanipatna city, it is a popular tourist attraction and showcases the rich cultural and historical aspect of Kalahandi district.
  2. Manikeshwari Temple: The temple is located to the south of Bhawanipatna. The main deity here is Goddess Manikeshwari. The main devotees are from the fishermen community.

Our team is keen on facilitating your local sightseeing as per your convenience. We also would like to add here that our conclave itself will showcase an extravaganza of tribal culture, art, music, paintings, food habits and way of life.

How can I offset my carbon emissions to the Conclave?

If you wish to offset your carbon emissions, organizations like, offers a service that can help individuals and organizations to calculate their carbon offset and make contributions to stem the effects of climate change. To minimize the footprint of the Kalahandi Dialogue, we have taken great care to ensure that the entire event prioritizes sustainable practices. Therefore, every product you see at the conclave including the signage, production sets and furniture has been made using local, sustainable products. Meals are from local organic produces.

I have queries related to the conclave, but it is not listed out here!

We would be glad to help you out with all of your queries, feel free to connect us through our contact details, given on the website. We look forward to welcome you to our conclave, which is the first of its kind in the country.



Bhubaneswar Address

Plot No. 368/1906, Mahavir Nagar, Patia Square, Bhubaneswar-751024, Odisha, India

Kalahandi Address

Near Mahavir Sanskruti Anustan, Mahabirpada, Bhawanipatna- 766001, Kalahandi, Odisha, India