KORAPUT: As Odisha celebrated Utkal Divas on Monday, tribals living in villages bordering Andhra Pradesh in the district are oblivious to it.
"We have no idea about Utkal Divas. Neither have we ever celebrated it, nor has anyone told us about it," said Pangi Suka, a resident of non-descript Upper Sembi village, in Kui language.
Not a single resident of this remote village in Pottangi block along Odisha-Andhra Pradesh boundary can read, write or understand Odia. This despite the Odisha government opening a primary school in the village many years ago.
People said though there is a school in the village, they have not seen a teacher for many years now.
The story is the same in almost all the 21 villages of Kotia panchayat. "We don't know anything about Utkal Divas and its significance," said Pangi Lachana of Dhulipadar under the panchayat.