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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Read Online March Issue Of Kosli Family Magazine "BENI"

Read the March edition of Firstever KOSLI Family Magazine "BENI" Online

Click the link below to download BENI in pdf format .....Njoyy Reading....

To grab a Copy of Beni or to Submit your materials ..Plz contact the below address...

Editorial Address
Editor Beni
Buromunda, Gaisilat, Bargarh
Ph: +91 9937822442

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kosal : Weaver woes loom large

Courtesy:- Times of India

The recent death of seven members of a weaver family in Bargarh district of Kosal region has raised questions about the economic condition of weavers there. The lone surviving member of the family, Uttar Meher, admitted that he had first poisoned and then strangled the seven to death. Abject poverty had apparently pushed them to the brink where suicide was the only option.

The Handloom Census 2009 found that Bargarh had the biggest handloom cluster in the state with 35,000 weavers and allied textile workers and 12,500 looms. But that did not mean that all the weavers were a flourishing lot. A reality check revealed that the majority of them are daily wage earners. Some are members of cooperatives and a few operate on their own. The majority who work for master weavers, get paid on the basis of the volume and quality of work.

Even the most skilled weaver earns around Rs 100 per day, which is what an unskilled labourer in the state earns. "If the whole family puts in around eight hours a day, we can earn Rs 200," said Kamalakanta Meher, a resident of Para village in Bijepur block.

The story is no different for others. Those who work on their own face problems in marketing and putting up with the cost of raw materials. "The cotton yarn cost has been increasing. One peni (bundle), which was available for Rs 25 to Rs 30 three months back now costs Rs 45," said another weaver from Jhilminda village in Attabira block.

The Bargarh handloom cluster is spread over Bargarh, Barpali, Bheden, Bhatli, Attabira, Bijepur, Padampur and Sohela blocks. The weavers here specialize in tie-dye cotton sarees, lungis and napkins. The tie-and-dye sarees have a huge demand. The late Indira Gandhi would be seen flaunting the colourful weave at important functions. In later years, Sonia Gandhi kept alive the Sambalpuri tradition in the Gandhi household.

"The annual sale at the weekly Balijuri market, 8 km from Bargarh, is between Rs 60 crore and Rs 70 crore," said assistant director of textiles Debjit Nandi.

But the high demand doesn't necessarily translate into profit for weavers. Middlemen and master weavers pocket the bulk of the money. "Master weavers, who market the product, pocket the lion's share. Those who really sweat and toil don't get their due. That's why very few youths are willing to take up the family tradition," said Tulsi Ballabh Das, a researcher.

But master weavers maintained that weaving needs skill and the remuneration depends on skill and hard work. "A skilled artisan can earn up to Rs 15,000 per month," said Sanjay Meher, a master weaver from Hillipali village in Attabira block.

Meher employs 70 weavers. He said that about 100 master weavers have come forward to form a handloom park near Barpali with government help. "Once it gets functional, it would help weavers improve their skills and earn more," he said.

Cooperatives blamed the high cost of cotton yarn for the sorry state of the handloom industry. "Cotton prices have increased manifold in the past one year. This has shrunk the profit margin of weavers," said Sambit Acharya, president of Sambalpuri Bastralaya, the largest primary handloom cooperative society in the country with over 6,000 weavers.

But the government has brushed aside the family suicide as a one-off case. "The suicide can't be linked to the state of the handloom industry. There seems to be personal reasons behind the act," said handloom and textile minister Anjali Behera, adding that the government has initiated a number of steps for weavers.

She said the Union and state governments contribute towards health and life insurance of weavers. Besides, the government also helps them in building houses with a provision of Rs 35,000. There's a 90 per cent support also for BPLs for building looms.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gurubari Meher - An Unsung Martyr Of Western Orissa

By Riyan Ramanath V
Courtesy:- TOI

On January 28, a few months beforeIndia became independent, the then (princely) state government of Sonepur let loose a reign of terror atBinika town. The people rose in revolt against the king for his pro-British stance.

Nearly 20,000 freedom fighters, led by a brave woman, organized a mass movement against the king. Police resorted to baton charge and the woman leader of the movement was shot dead by the police. The woman, Gurubari Meher, became a martyr in India's freedom struggle.

But while the names of many other freedom fighters of the state have made it to the hall of fame, hardly anyone remembers this valiant woman. The story of Gurubari is one that has never been retold to the residents of Independent India, and, strangely, neither do many historians know of her.

She laid down her life for India's sake but remained unsung. Except for a small mention of her participation in the Praja Mandal Movement, she has not been portrayed as the brave soldier of western Orissa that she was.

Some historians, however, who are of the opinion that her contribution was exemplary, expressed dissatisfaction about the fact that little is known about her in the public domain. They say that Gurubari, among others women fighters, was a unique personality and the least she deserves is to be remembered by the locals.

A senior lecturer of history at Bhawanipatna Government College, Dr Siba Prasad Nanda, said after the people of Binika destroyed the pro-royalist regime under the leadership of Gurubari, a news item had been published in 'Dainik Asha' from Sambalpur on 23 January 1947. One Sarangadhar Dash wrote the news report, with the headline 'Victory For the People Of Sonepur'.

This newspaper report is the only evidence about Gurubari's contribution to the fight for freedom. Nanda said the movement Gurubari was spearheading was an offshoot of the Praja Mandal Movement, which was inaugurated at Cuttack in 1938. This branch was launched for the first time at Sonepur under the leadership of Laxman Satpathy.

Gurubari joined the movement because she was of the opinion that the fight for freedom was not only for men and women should also join it.

However, revolutionary ideas stemming from the feeling of exploitation had already impacted her. She took the plunge and led a protest against the extra cess charged on various goods. As she led the protesters, she was shot dead by the police, following which her anti-royal followers destroyed the royal regime.

Historian Sadhu Panda feels Gurubari played as important a role in the freedom struggle as three other famous women fighters of western Orissa — Jambubati Debi, Prabhabati Debi, and Parbati Giri.

"Gurubari's story of valour should be made popular to inspire modern Indian women. In her case, domestic issues and the problem of livelihood prompted her to join the struggle, which later took the shape of a freedom struggle.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New weekly ''Kosal Horizon'' launched in Rourkela

A new English weekly 'Kosal Horizon' has hit the stands here to focus on news related to western Orissa.The first issue was inaugurated by Dayanidhi Kisan, former MLA and chairman of the Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) .Swaroop Mishra is the editor of the weekly. This will be the second publication of 'Paschimanchal', which publishes the weekly 'Paschimanchala' under the editorship of Surama Mishra.Baidyanath Mishra, executive editor of 'Paschimanchal' said the new weekly would highlight the poverty, sufferings and miseries of the people of "neglected" western Orissa. PTI SCP

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why Kosal should be separated from Odisha?

Following is Dr. Arjun Purohit’s (Canada) take on this issue (this message was sent to various e-groups):

Dear all,

Koshal state is inevitable because of variety of reasons but primarily because it is in accord with emerging trends. It is begining to be evident bigger states do not necessarily better management of resources, especially human resource. Fear that Koshal and Orissa will be further disadvantaged once separated simply do not hold water. Both MP and Chhattisgarh are better off after separation. Bihar is on mend under Nitish Kumar after separating from Jharkhand; it is concentrating on overall development of the state, particularly on human resource now that it can not depend on easy money obtained from mining operations in Jharkhand. Even Uttaranchal is beginning to show progress concentrating on its own resources which remained untapped when it remained with UP. Sure they are going through teething problems, but on the whole all these new entities are on the mend.

In the case of Orissa and Koshal, several studies done since its inception suggest that inter regional variance is increasing, and the gaps are getting bigger with no sign of abetting. There is no sense of urgency or inclination to reverse this trend.More recently, the state sponsored a study to examine this self evident problem; It took four and half year and cost thirty five lakhs; and was produced two years ago. Mr.A.U.Singhdeo, the minister in charge said in Orissa assembly that the government is still studying it !! In the mean time, there has been utter failure of governance. Much of Koshal area is coming under the sway of Naxalites. Koshal is emerging as the most polluted part of Orissa. KBK area is languishing for decades even after alarm bell had been sounded decades ago.

Orissa government has no mining policy yet mining is going on in full spate for much of the last century. Even if humongous amount of mineral resources is known to be stolen away, and is being stolen away, Orissa government steadfastly opposing any CBI enquiry even though its own government apparatus is incapable in stopping the loot. The irony is that proceeds from these operations did not improve the lots of Orissa and it is locked in the bottom of literacy and wealth ladder.We have been in the resource trap all these decades, and unfortunately lives of people who are effected by these mining operations is degrading in all measures. Not that all areas of Orissa are languishing. It is as if the sixty mile zone surrounding Bhubaneswar is where all the proceeds of Orissa is being dumped with Koshal and South Orissa remaining in the rain shadow area. Worst part of it all is that a nexus has developed in that sixty mile zone which thinks that that area alone needs to be developed. Ironically, that nexus consisting primarily of senior bureaucrats(working and retired) and academics of coastal area, is unofficially determining the shape of destiny of Orissa, and is immune from political engagement.

Orissa government has lost touch with people beyond this sixty mile zone. Our Adivashi population, who constitute nearly a fourth of population, have been singularly impacted from such deliberate neglect. More recently, the government has turned hostile towards this population. Unfortunately, both Koshal and South Orissa contain the bulk of this population. Protests from this group have not been heard, they have been replied with lathi charge, and even gun shots. And thus it is creating a fertile ground for Naxalites. We are watching in living colour the upheavals in Arab countries graphically demonstrating what happens when the governments are disconnected with people. We too in Orissa witnessing something similar albeit in a minor scale.

But Koshal should not be a separate state because of a protest movement. The daunting task of Koshal state will be how to prepare the state for twenty first century, and align itself to overall growth and main stream of India. Key to this is single minded focus on human resource development and create an ambiance of trust between between people and the government.We have to learn from the blunders of Orissa, which made it dysfunctional. All state resources must be equitably distributed across the regions. Overcentrilisation of state institutions and deployment of resources in a small part have been the main fault lines of Orissa; these must be avoided. Policies and procedures must be established to institute decentrilisation based upon proximity,accessibility and pragmatics. We simply can not afford to marginalise a huge chunk of population and expect progress. The Adivashi population is integral part of the state, and is a source of our strength. All social scientists will tell you that geniuses are produced in all clusters of population; therefore as it stands, by ignoring this population we are depriving ourselves a major source potential enhancers of the society. We must also develop better methods of conflict resolutions. In Orissa, we are locked into unnecessary battles between mining industries and Adivashis, farmers and industries, mineral exploitation and environmental concerns,etc.. We all have a stake in the upliftment of the state. Many of these conflicts are soluble, but we do not have in Orissa proper mechanisms to defuse these issues. Therefore I fully endorse the stand of Sai Prasan and Parvin Patel. Koshal can be a model state if we play our cards right from the beginning. All these can be achieved without violence. And I believe Orissa will too will be better off without Koshal.


Arjun Purohit

"The author is a retired Professor in Psychology and Psychiatry of Queen's University and retired Chief Psychologist of a University based children's centre.Originally he is from Sankarma, a village near Sambalpur. Now he is based in Canada."

Kosal outfit tears Odisha map, demands separate State

Courtsey:- PIONEER NEWS SERVICE | Balangir

Protesting against the “continuous neglect and exploitation” of this region by successive Governments at Bhubneswar and demanding formation of a separate Kosal State, members of the Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD), led by its Balangir district president Bharat Prusti and general secretary of the All Kosal Students’ Union Dolamani Pradhan, on Friday staged a sit-in demonstration before the district Collectorate here.

The demonstrators tore the map of Odisha State and burned a CD containing the Bande Utkal Janani song and effigy of symbolic Government of Odisha as a mark of their protest.

Pradhan said, “The State of Odisha was formed comprising three former States, namely Utkal, Kalinga and Kosal. We are not Odia and we have a separate Kosali language and culture and have our own identity. The continuous backwardness of the region and concentration of important institutions starting form medical, engineering and law to all other institutions in Bhubneshwar and in its periphery amply reflect the Government’s penchant for that region and neglect of this region. In such a situation, why should we observe the Utkal Divas here?”

Even after more than 60 years since Independence, this region is groaning under backwardness and poverty, he said further.

At Sonepur, the headquarters town of Subarnapur district, KKD activists, led by Priyabata Sahu, and at Manmunda of Boudh district KKD members, led by Lalit Sahu, erased the name of the Utkal Gramya Bank from the signboard and, instead, wrote the name as Kosal Gramya Bank.

At Sambalpur too, KKD activists staged a similar protest while in Kalahandi the activists moved to villages and adopted a resolution in favour of a separate Kosal State. KKD members also staged such protests in Nuapada, Pradhan informed.

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Welcome to KOSAL


"Aamar Sanskruti Aamar Gaurav"

Welcome to the land of culture "Koshal" . Koshal is the land of great warriors. The land of Maharaja's.The land of Maa Samalei, World famous sambalpuri saree , great teracotta works, land of tantrik Vidya, world famous Sambalpuri music and dance.

Koshal consists of ten beautiful districts..
and Deogarh.

The motto of this community is to bring all the young warriors of koshal to a common platform from where they can initiate the process to preserve the great Koshali culture and swear to free our motherland koshal from atrocities..

So friends lets join hand and do something extraordinary to create a separate identity of us across the globe and create a separate koshal state,full of prosperity and impartiality.

We Consider Kosali language as the mother of Oriya language, the origin of kosali language was found by the historians from Subarnapur in Stambheswari inscription of 12th century A.D. The Kosali language is spoken by about 2 crores of people in the entire KBK belt and Western Orissa and part of A.P., M.P., Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It is a matter of regret that the Government of Orissa has not taken any interest to improve the standard of Kosali (Sambalpuri) language.


So start sharing your views on Koshal.....