Monday, March 15, 2010



Justice for Jarawas



Weeks after the last member of the Bo tribe died on the Andaman Islands, the Supreme Court of India has moved to protect the neighboring Jarawa tribe by suspending the operation of a controversial tourist resort about which I had written last year - "High Court Allows Resort Threatening Andaman Tribe".


The Supreme Court ordered last Monday that the company, Barefoot India, must close its Celebrity Resort near the Jarawa’s reserve area, pending further deliberation by the court.


Despite concerns for the future of the vulnerable tribe, Barefoot had challenged the legality of a Buffer Zone’ around the reserve. The buffer zone was designed to protect the Jarawas by preventing tourism and other commercial activity near their land. The resort lies within the disputed zone.


But concerns remain over the Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) running through the tribal reserve connecting North and Middle Andaman with South Andaman, and the poachers, tourists and other outsiders it brings into daily contact with the Jarawas. “The government of India is yet to act upon a 2002 Supreme Court ruling that the road must be closed”, says Survival International.




Most of the Bo tribe, whose last member Boa Sr died in January this year, died of diseases brought by British colonists in the nineteenth century. The Jarawas, who resisted contact with outsiders until 1998, are expected to have little immunity to many outside infections and could be wiped out by an epidemic.


Many of Barefoot’s visitors will have recently stepped off long-haul flights. Research indicates that about 20% of airline passengers develop colds or other viral infections within a few days of their flight.


Survival’s director Stephen Corry said, ‘Nobody wants to see the Jarawa go the same way as Boa Sr’s people. This week’s court decision to suspend the Barefoot resort is a positive sign. But if the Indian government is serious about protecting the Jarawa it must close the road and keep intruders off their land.’




Is this, at least, justice in sight, finally, for these vulnerable and callously neglected aboriginal tribes of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands? Well, time will tell…


Stats courtesy: Survival International


  1. I am glad that the Government has at least taken a few steps to safeguard the Jarawas...I hope it also takes further concrete action on this.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this news update, Mr. Shrinath!

  2. yea, atleast this is time to react hard....with us loosing Bo tribe......
    this is the only page i get some info abt Andaman and Nicobar islands....these things won't even make it to the newspaper in the metro's papers

  3. only hope it is not too little too late...

  4. Dear Shrinath,

    You are already doing a great work by timely updating the news and the judiciary verdicts pertaining to the tribal treasures of India. This is a matter of great concern for people living in afar cities like Pune. Jarawas are truly the representatives of our preciously varied heritage. Activities that possibly put a threat to its very own existence must be rooted out lest we may loose it all.

    Appreciate your candid efforts and hope that Indian government comes up with a strong verdict and a law in the long term!

    Neeraj Shinde

  5. @Parth J Dave That's right, dear Parth! I'm happy to note the move of the apex court of the country, finally, breaking through into the long-neglected cause of these precious tribes. It's my utmost pleasure to contribute towards the causes and issues concerning my peerless domicile and environment, as that's the very reason why I blog.

    Thank you for your admiration! Hope, you will help me spread the word about all these by informing more people about my blog, which would do a great deal in generating the much-needed necessary awareness all around. Please, do help!

    @hitesh rawat Thanks a bushel, dear Hitesh! I'm trying to unravel further details of the apex court's order vis-a-vis the issue and would soon make it available here for all to fathom.

    @magiceye True! I hope so, too. Thanks for your kind opinion!

    @the Neeraj Norms... Thanks very much, dear Neeraj! I'm trying my best to make a headway into contributing to these issues on a large scale so that the desired results can be effected sooner with some real substance in it that would have a far-reaching impact. The essential support and cooperation of like-minded sensitive citizens like you is what I solicit, vehemently. Thank you again! :)

  6. Dont you think its too late now? I had been visiting this island for almost 5 years . Nothing has changed..
    pl See the post on my blog

  7. @kayvatelte Well, if we go the 'Justice-delayed-is-justice-denied' way, it's really too late, but as I've written, if the orders and the instructions of the Supreme Court are implemented sincerely and cautiously, it's gonna be a good beginning, finally.

    I tried my best to understand your good post but since even Google translation tool couldn't help me get it translated from Marathi to English or Hindi for that matter, I couldn't read it. I'd surely try and help myself read it once I'm back in station from the current tour that I'm on, and then, will get back to you.

    Thanks for partaking with your kind thoughts, Mahendra ji..! Cheers! :)

  8. Is there any way we can contribute sir? Let us hope it is not a case of too little too late!

  9. it is really appreciative move, but a lot has to be done before it is too late, thank u very much sir for updating our knowledge.

  10. @k10 Absolutely sure! You can contribute a great deal by helping spread enough information around about this blog so that more & more awareness is spread amongst the masses and the much-needed pressure can be created over the agencies responsible to act for the urgent cause. Plz, help do this. I love your distinctly human spirit! Thanks and cheers! :)

    @victoria You're right, dear Victoria! This is the least that the judiciary could do. It's, now, for the government to wake up to the tremendous emergency that we are faced with in terms of protecting these rare aborigines.

    Thanks very much for sharing your kind thoughts with us, here. See you back more often, for more. Cheers! :)

  11. I think it is a great move..Let us hope more help will comes in the near future. Keep writing and informing us :))

  12. @ASWANI Yes! Optimism towards required action is the best bet, for now. Thank you, dear Ashwani! :-)

  13. I totally agree sir, i had visited the place it was beautiful. A well written post, a humble suggestion if you are ok with it, please relook at the font of your bog. May be something like Tahoma would be better.