Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: The First ever Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ was launched here at Mayfair, Bhubaneswar on 19th October, 2010. This is one-of-its kind initiative in the country to bring the beauty, the rich cultural heritage, their music and language to the limelight.
The Dongria Kondhas are one of the primitive tribal inhabitants of Lanjigarh, in the district of Kalahandi. Kui, the traditional language of the Dongria Kondhas, has a rich oral history that the elders of the community pass on from generations through their folk songs and stories .Dongria Kondhas, under the leadership of Jitu Jakasika, pioneered the thought to promote their culture with their own music band.
Vedanta Aluminium is proudly associated with this unique initiative to promote the culture and tradition of Kondha tribes of Orissa. The album comprises of eight beautiful Kui songs composed by noted Oriya music director Manmath Mishra. The songs are written by Gopal Melaka; and the singers are Jitu Jakasika, Ramesh Kulesika, Gopal Melaka, Stephen and Biraji, Dongria natives of Lanjigarh & Muniguda.
Speaking on the occasion, Jitu said, "It's a dream come true for us. We have a long mission to accomplish. Hereafter, we also plan to release a video album followed by live performances across India to promote the culture of the natives of Lanjigarh."
Bijayaranjan Singh Bariha Minister for SC & ST Development, Minorities and Backward Class Welfare, Orissa was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Releasing the Music CD he expressed his deep gratitude to Vedanta for taking an initiative to bring forth the hidden talents among the Dongria tribes. He voiced his concern that other corporate houses must emulate such responsibilities that help build and preserve the rich tradition and culture of Orissa.
Present during the Occasion Mr. Siddhanta Mohapatra MP Lok Sabha Bramhapur and eminent Cine Artist said, “Music and Art has no Color, Creed or sect. Tribal Music in particular, in any form just reflects the joy that emanates from the heart of people.”
Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President and COO -VAL Lanjigarh, reiterated Vedanta's vision for the overall development of the peripheral areas of Kalahandi, where it’s already operating an alumina refinery. He said, "Vedanta will continuously support such endeavor to make the tribal community self-sustainable. Culture is as important to us as socio-economic development, which has been our top priority."
Other noted personalities from across the society, who graced this occasion were Odissi Guru Ramahari Das, Noted Odissi dancer Ms Aruna Mohanty, A. B. Ota Director SC & ST development institute Orissa and Balabhadra Majhi Former Minister Govt of Orissa.
The event witnessed a huge participation from around 40 Dongria Kondha people, who travelled especially from Lanjigarh to be a part of this Mega Event.