Integration or isolation? A “Down To Earth” discussion on the fate of the Jarawa tribe – Andaman

Contact with the outside world has exposed the Jarawas to various dangers. Is isolation the best way to conserve? A debate

Numbering around 400, people of the Jarawa tribe occupy the lion’s share of land in South and Middle Andaman Islands, earmarked as Jarawa Tribal Reserve (JTR). This irks leaders of political parties and businesspeople, who often question the need for such a huge stretch of land for a handful of Jarawas. They also suggest and offer welfare measures for the Jarawas, not willing to realise the consequences these may have on the tribe. […]

“Administration created the malaise” – DENIS GILES is the Editor of Andaman Chronicles

“Jarawas want to integrate”
MOHAN HALDER is Sarpanch of Tushanabad Panchayat. He narrated this piece to Sayantan Bera

“The administration is a facilitator”
G THEVA NEETHI DHAS is Secretary, Tribal Welfare, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

“Listen, don’t command”
MANISH CHANDI is a research scholar with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, and member of the advisory board of the Department of Tribal Welfare and Andaman Nicobar Tribal Research Institute


Source: What ails the Jarawa people in the Andamans? | Down To Earth
Address :
Date Visited: 3 January 2022

Save Jarawa

Andaman and Nicobar islands, union territory of India were inhabited by 14 aboriginal tribes. Some of these tribal populations have already become extinct, and the numbers of the existing ones are also dwindling. Across India, most of the tribals have made the shift to agriculture. Only tiny groups like Jarawas remain hunter-gatherers. This makes them culturally different.

Who are the Jarawa? The tribe belong to the Negrito group of tribal communities, including the Onge, the Great Andamanese and Sentinelese living on the Andaman Islands. They have lived and flourished in the rainforests of the island for 20,000 years.

Jarawa is fast disappearing from a population of 5000, 150 years ago. According to the latest census, from 2011, there are 44 Great Andamanese, 380 Jarawa, 101 Onge, 229 Shompen and 15 Sentinelese remaining in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Problems do the Jarawa face: Of the four Andaman islands tribes, it is Jarawa’s situation that is most precarious. […]

Settlers increased the number, trees were being felled, and poaching rose considerably, threatening the delicate ecosystem of the tribe. The developmental authorities turned deaf ear to the protest of environmentalists, anthropologists and the Jarawas themselves. […]

Today the Andaman truck road (ATR road) carries the traffic right through the heart of Jarawa reserve. […] In 2002, the Indian Supreme court ordered the closure of the road, yet it still remains open.

In 2013, following a campaign from Survival and local organization ‘Search’ to ban ‘human safaris’, the Supreme Court banned tourists from travelling along with the ATR for seven weeks. After the Andaman Authorities changed their own rules in order to allow the human safaris to continue, the Supreme Court had no choice but to reverse the ban.

In October 2017, the Andaman Authorities opened the long-awaited alternative sea route to Baratang. This sea route was supposed to stop the human safaris. But despite the authorities’ commitment to ensuring all tourists would have to use the sea route, very few currently do, and the market in human safaris along the road is flourishing.

Government should step in to protect the Jarawa tribe of the Andaman Islands, which are now in danger of being wiped out by settlers invading their territory. […]

Source: “Save Jarawa” by Surabhi Sinha (Times of India, 2 June 2021)
Date Visited: 22 February 2022

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India | Learn more >>

The main tribes living on different islands are the Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, Sentinelene, Nicobarese and Shompens. The tribal population on the slands decreased from 29,469 in 2001to 28,530 in 2011—a decrease of 3.19 per cent. | Read more >>

Source: Tribal population of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has declined: census report | Down To Earth
Address :
Date Visited: 3 January 2022

Learn more from Pankaj Sekhsaria on this website and on >>
Find copies of Pankaj Sekhsaria’s books
Indian publishers and distributors | WorldCat library search >>

Learn more from Pankaj Sekhsaria on this website and on >>

Tip | Search for “Andaman and Nicobar Islands” and “Pankaj Sekhsaria” in the search field seen below

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educatorsMore search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen below, combine the name of any particular state, language or region with that of any tribal (Adivasi) community; add keywords of special interest (health, nutrition endangered language, illegal mining, sacred grove); learn about the rights of Scheduled Tribes such as the Forest Rights Act (FRA); and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women’s rights, and children’s right to education; specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, bonded labour and human trafficking, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, Himalayan tribe, hunter-gatherers in a particular region or state, prevention of rural poverty, water access).

For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>

Images © publishers & photographers featured in Safe Search results
Learn more about water-related issues that affect India’s tribal communities >>
“National development and the development of tribal communities are linked to each other.” – Droupadi Murmu | Speeches by the 15th President of India >>

“Together, we must endeavour to strengthen tribal communities which are the role model in preservation of water, forest and land, and learn from their connection with nature and the surrounding environment for the sake of the entire human race.” – journalist and tribal rights activist Dayamani Barla in The Wire >>

Related posts

Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India.
Please note: the facts and figures cited (via hyperlinks) links call for updates and fact checking >>
Learn more: Endangered languages: Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India >>