Koraga: The Many Language Worlds of Karnataka
Purushottama Bilimale and Shridhar Nada
Shridhar Nada did his BA and is now District Convenor for Udupi – Shivamogga, and State Co-Convenor for the Karnataka Tribal Rights Coordination Committee. He constantly works with the Koraga and Hasalaru tribal communities to organise for their livelihood, food and health rights in the Western Ghats and coastal districts.
As a full-time activist since 2012, programmes have been launched to organise and raise awareness among the Adivasi people democratically. As part of the Karnataka Adivasi Rights Coordination Committee, his work with the State Organising Committee has been a success as he has consistently fought before government offices, forcing people to adequately implement the Adivasi Forest Rights Act and to provide land to landless families. He has stood up with the people in the face of atrocities and advocated for the Adivasis before the government. As a result, many families in the community have received nutritious food, forest claims and shelter from scarcity and hunger. In addition during the Covid pandemic, he organised a health camp to inform the tribal people about health-related issues.
The language of the Koraga community is his mother tongue. If this language is to survive, he believes it has to be from within the community and therefore he is part of the effort to document it and to promote the language among the people. In addition to education at meetings and events, efforts are being made to reduce the sense of the inferiority of the language and to speak in the Koraga language.