Sunday, June 27, 2010



The Human Safari!!!




The survival of the very rare stone-age Jarawa tribe of the Andaman Islands is again being threatened by human safaris run by insensitive tour operators.


Survival International announced last week that it has written to eight travel companies that promote visits to, or sightings of, the Jarawa people, urging them to put an immediate stop to their tours. The trips put the tribe, who are likely to have little immunity to common illnesses, at serious risk of disease.


The promotion of tourism to the Jarawa is illegal. Four of the companies stopped promoting Jarawa tourism on their websites after Survival wrote to them. The Indian government also issued a public warning to companies after Survival alerted it to the safaris. Four companies, however, are continuing to promote the tours.




An illegal highway runs through the Jarawa reserve, bringing in tourists, poachers and settlers. Survival is urging the Government of India to close the road immediately, and to stop intruders trespassing on the Jarawa’s land,” said Stephen Corry, Survival’s director.


The Jarawa people lived successfully on their island without contact with outsiders for probably about 55,000 years, until 1998. Today, a road runs right through their forest home, and they risk decimation by disease. They call themselves the Ang, which means ‘human being’, yet they are being ogled at like animals in a game reserve.


The very last member of the neighboring Bo tribe died in January. We must not allow the same fate to befall the Jarawa, or the world will lose yet another vibrant, knowledgeable and complex part of humankind.”


As per Survival International, the companies that are still advertising tours with sightings of the Jarawa include:


1. Andaman Island Adventure [June 17 update: The page now appears to have been taken down. The company have written to Survival today saying that they will remove the references to the Jarawa from their website];

2. Explore Andaman with Kariappa;

3. Rhino Jungle Adventures;

4. Offbeat Andaman Vacations


The following companies have stopped promoting tours to the Jarawa on their websites since Survival wrote to them:


1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands Tours and Travels, owned by Barefoot India. Barefoot says it bought the company and website from another tour operator, and did not run the tours that were advertised as the website was ‘“dead” for all practical purposes’. Barefoot’s Director has explained that they did not have the necessary password to enable them to change the website. Since Survival wrote to the company, the website has been removed.”

2. Sky-Sketch (India)

3. Andaman Island Travels

4. Vicky Tours and Travels


In 2002, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the highway that runs through the Jarawa reserve should be closed, but the government has kept the road open yet. Nevertheless, the Government of India has issued a public warning to tour operators after Survival alerted it to the safaris.


Facts about the Jarawa and Bo Tribes:


The Jarawas number about 320 and live in the thick forests of South and Middle Andaman. They hunt pig and monitor lizard, fish with bows and arrows, and gather seeds, berries and honey. They are nomadic, living in bands of 40-50 people.




In 1998, some Jarawas started coming out of their forest to visit nearby towns and settlements for the first time. The Andaman tribes’ ancestors are thought to have been amongst the first people to migrate successfully from Africa to Asia.


Most of the Bo tribe died of diseases brought by the British in the 19th century. The death of Boa Sr in January 2010 meant that what may have been one of the world’s oldest languages, Bo, also came to an end.


  1. sad that a human race is treated as a show piece with utter neglect to social concern ... but on other hand, I want to know how much has technology, education etc have reached this tribe?

  2. @Lakshmi Rajan NOT AT ALL!!! They are the last remaining nomads of hunting-gathering communities on earth, living off the land on a palaeolithic level, representing the human culture and way of living most common in the time line of homo sapiens.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and being compassionately concerned, dear Mr. Rajan! Plz keep a watch as I would soon post a detailed account of the JARAWAS.

  3. Very nice article ! Keep up ! Ralph010

  4. @webmasterr Thanks very much, dear Ralph! :-)

  5. //In 2002, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the highway that runs through the Jarawa reserve should be closed, but the government has kept the road open yet. Nevertheless, the Government of India has issued a public warning to tour operators after Survival alerted it to the safaris.//

    I just don't understand such indifference. If it is not permitted how can they continue??? Makes me feel very hopeless ...

  6. I am so very grateful to you for sharing this information..we are so ignorant about so many things..
    Once again my sincere thanks to you...

  7. @Indian Home Maker It happens the way it does in the rest of the country, my friend! And "it happens only in India..." ;-)) Now, instead of hoping the way we have been for decades, WE direly need to get our acts together to get rid of the bugs in the system... else we and our future generations would have to keep wailing like this for decades together in future too...

    Thanks a lot for voicing your kind solidarity here indeed!

    @'अदा' I've been at this dutifully for quite a few years now and it's my pleasure to be able to contribute towards the betterment of our nation and society's causes and issues in some minuscule manner possible. Thanks very much for your kind solidarity! :-)

  8. Desi Girl must congratulate you for this wonderful piece of information.

    DG knows exactly why that highway is still kept open, so that in future some scruplous politician can serve is financial contacts :) (read timber tycoons and multi national corporations) . This is what happens when globalization is adopted blindly...when middle classes take pride in brand names than in national identity...

    Who wants Bo or Jawra around if they are not contributing to the economy as consumers. Lets keep them around only if we can make money out of them even if it is by just oggling at them...

    Thanks again for a good post.

    Desi Girl

  9. @girlsguidetosurvival We, in India, are very well-acquainted with every nerve of our public servants, aren't we? Aptly said, dear friend, about the brazen gluttony of the so-called civilized people... Let's keep our fingers crossed, nevertheless, for something positive to take place with our endeavors, at least, sooner or later.

    Thanks for sharing your good thoughts with us here. See you back soon for more.

  10. good to know this information...never knew of this this..thanks for sharing