In 1st April 1936, our Odisha was formed and to remember the input and sacrifices made by the people of Odisha in those olden times, Utkal Divas or Odisha day is celebrated all over the state. Not only in Odisha but Utkal Divas is celebrated in many cities and neighborhoods in India and in foreign countries, where people from Odisha reside. In ancient times the region of Odisha was your center of the Kalinga kingdom, although it was temporarily vanquished (c. 250 B. C. ) by Asoka and held for almost a hundred years by the Mauryas. With all the gradual drop of Kalinga, several Indan dynasties arose and built temples at Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konarak. After long resistance to the Muslims, the region was conquered (1568) by Afghan intruders and passed to the Mughal empire. After the fall of the Mughals, Orissa was divided between the Nawabs of Bengal and the Marathas. In 1803 it was taken by the British.
The coastal section, which was made (1912) part of Bihar and Odisha Region became the separate region of Odisha in 1936. In 1948 and 49 the area of Odisha was almost doubled and the population was elevated by a third with the addition of twenty-four former princely states. In 1950, Odisha became a constituent state of India.
Utkala Divas is celebrated to commemorate the building blocks day of our express Odisha on 1st Apr 1936. Odisha took beginning as another linguistic state as a result of pioneering initiatives of Utkala Gaurav Madhusudan Das, Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Shri Ramachandra Bhanjadeo, Maharaja Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Raja Baikunthanath Dey, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher, and Gourishankar Ray. Down the road their state was split into 13 districts and 30 districts then. The full day is celebrated as Condition Visit to Odisha. At this juncture various social evenings, seminars, competition are organized in several parts of inside and out side the State. Oriya communities around the globe celebrate wherever they are also.
 As the state celebrates Utkal Diwas on Friday, it is surprising how few people are aware of it or even what it signifies!

The tribal villages of Kotia panchayat under Pottangi block in Koraput district is a case in hand. The people of these villages are oblivious to the fact that on April 1 every year the state celebrates the creation of Orissa. Except a few villagers of the panchayat headquarters, neither does anyone had any idea about the state's 75th Formation Day nor have they ever taken part in the celebration of this auspicious day.

"Utkal Diwas? What is it? We don't have any idea about it. We have never celebrated anything like it. Neither has anyone told us anything about it," Arjun Pangi, who lives in Upper Sembi, a non-descript village, said in Kui language.

Orissa has long been claiming that these villages are part of Orissa. But Oriya as a language has not been able to penetrate most parts of Pottangi block that are bordering Andhra Pradesh. The government has also been running a primary school in the village for several years. But not many in the village can read, write or even understand Oriya.

People alleged that though there is a school in the village, there has been no teacher for many years now. "Though there is a school building, classes have not been held for a single day. We have not seen a teacher come to this school for several years," the Upper Sembi villagers said.

The situation is the same in Kotia panchayat's Dhulipadar, situated about 4 km from Upper Sembi. "We don't know anything about Utkal Diwas and its significance," said Lachana Pangi of Dhulipadar.

The story is quite the same in almost all the 21 villages of Kotia panchayat.

Poeple here said that both the Orissa and Andhra Pradesh governments have been battling for the ownership of these villages for over four decades now. The Orissa government has included Kotia villages as part of the Pottangi Assembly constituency. Andhra Pradesh has it in Salur Assembly and Srikakulam Lok Sabha constituencies. This has put a big question mark on the identity of Kotia, which both Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, claim to be their own. And torn between the conflicting states, Kotia has remained backward.
The people, mostly Kondh tribals, continue to remain below poverty line and are dependent on small time farming, horticulture, fishing and collection of forest produce for their day-to-day needs. Notwithstanding the ground reality, officials are not wanting to dish out lofty claims about developmental works in the area under host of schemes like the MGNREGA, Bharat Nirmal Yojana and Integrated Action Plan.
"All care of the panchayat is being taken by the Orissa government. Though there were was no specific instruction from the government for celebration of Utkal Diwas at the panchayat but our panchayat level officials have been asked to make people aware about the state's Formation Day during the nodal meeting which is held on the 1st of every month," said Sunil Kumar Nayak block development officer of Pottangi.
Like, Kotia panchayat villagers of Bangarigudi, which lies along he Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border, were equally ignorance of Utkal Diwas."Celebration of Utkal Diwas should not be restricted to urban areas only. The state government should try to organize official programmes on this day in border areas so that people could be made aware of the special day and possible intrusion from Border States into Orissa's boundary could be prevented," opined Ajit Sahu, president of Koraput district bar association.