Union Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman jointly launched Kuwi and Desia books at Bhubaneswar on 17 August 2023.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in collaboration with Central University of Odisha, has prepared two invaluable books: the "Kuwi Primer" and "Desia Primer", for those children, who are speaking Kuwi and Desia tribal languages in the undivided Koraput district of Odisha,
Dharmendra Pradhan said that these two primers will not only shape a strong educational foundation of those children but also preserve and foster the cultural, linguistic heritage and identity of tribal communities of Odisha.
Kui is a south-eastern Dravidian language which is spoken by the Kandhas tribes . Written in Odia script it is generally spoken in Odisha. The language was also referred to as the Kuinga language during the historical period and is closely related to the Gondi and Kuvi languages.
Desia or Desiya or Desia or Koraputi Odia is an Indo-Aryan language variety spoken in Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts of Odisha.
In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the language is spoken in Vishakhapatnam’s hilly regions and Vizianagaram district.
Scheduled Tribes in Odisha
There are 62 tribal communities in Odisha including 13 Primitive Tribal groups ,speaking 74 dialects.
As per the Census 2011, the state of Odisha has the second highest tribal population in the country after Madhya Pradesh .
The total tribal population in the state was 9590756..
The state has the unique distinction of having 62 different tribal communities spread over 30 districts and 314 blocks.
They constitute 22.85% of the total population of the state and contribute 9.17% to the total tribal population of the country.
The literacy rate amongst the Scheduled tribes population is 37.37 % . The tribal l male and female literacy rates were 51.48% and 23.37% respectively as per the 2001 census.