Today only 250 to 400 members of the Jarawa tribe are left on the Andaman Islands. As the documentary clearly shows, the tribe faces multiple threats from private tour operators and ignorant tourists who encroach their private space and exploit them for sheer pleasure and monetary benefits.
- Thousands of outsiders and tourists treat the Jarawas like animals in a safari park.
- As they have little immunity to outside diseases, they remain vulnerable when they interact with the outside world. An epidemic could devastate them. (In 1999 and 2006, the Jarawa suffered outbreaks of measles – a disease that has wiped out many tribes worldwide following contact with outsiders.)
- Sexual abuse of Jarawa women and girls by local settlers, tour operators, police and others.
Although the Supreme Court has banned all tourism and commercial activity around the Jarawa territory, in reality it’s a booming ground of money making private tour operators and inefficient law and administrative officials.
So what can we do about it?
- Find out and help NGOs that are working for their protection. E.g. Survival International
- Start an online petition campaign. Write to the Govt. of India.
- Be vigilant and educated. Discourage your friends and family to visit the Jarawa territory if they happen to visit the Andamans.
- Spread this message so that it reaches the ears of as many as possible.
Kindly contribute the details of any organization working for the cause. We would love to feature them.