Favouring bringing of Jarawas into the mainstream with minimum damage to their cultural heritage, a parliamentary Standing Committee has recommended review of policy for the primitive tribe of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to facilitate a "slow and smooth" transition.
Observing that it would not be appropriate to leave the tribe in total isolation, unattended and without care, the Committee on Tribal Affairs Ministry asked for involving a Group of Experts for the purpose.
"The Committee has recommended the Ministry to review the policy of Jarawa tribes which should aim at facilitating a slow and smooth process of transition i.e. bringing Jarawas into the mainstream with minimum damage to themselves and their cultural heritage," the Committee said in its report to Parliament.
The Committee also desires that Group of Experts also be involved in the above process, it said.
Keeping in view that many of the Jarawas themselves are now willing to come to the mainstream and live modern lifestyle, it would not be appropriate to suppress their voice and leave them in total isolation, it said.
The Committee also expressed "constraint" over the action taken report by an Expert Committee which considers that there is no need for a change in policy at this juncture "as the recommendations made are already covered by the present policy."
"In the opinion of the Committee there is a need to undertake evidence based research studies on topics as suggested by the Group of Experts," the Standing Committee said.
The protected jarawa tribe was recently in news over allegations that its members were being exploited for tourism after appearance of two videos of Jarawa tribal women in the electronic media in January and February.
In view of the large number of complaints on misuse of funds by NGOs, the Committee has asked it to devise "stringent norms and guidelines" for control of office and travel expenses of such organisations.
"The Committee desires the Ministry to look into matters of complaints of misuse of funds by NGOs seriously and take effective steps to ensure that grant meant for welfare of Scheduled Tribes are not squandered by them in exorbitant office and travel expenses," the Committee said in its report.
Asking the Ministry to set up monitoring cells, the Committee opined that such bodies "would ensure regular and strict monitoring of various schemes in a concerted and focused manner."
Recommending flexibility in guidelines for the schemes prepared by the Ministry, the Committee said, "At the same time some accountability should also be fixed on state governments for implementation of the schemes as well as utilization of allocated funds."
The Committee noted that for awareness on various schemes, the Ministry has conducted workshops and seminars through universities and NGOs and other bodies.
"In addition to this, the Committee desires that the Ministry should launch a multimedia campaign using print, broadcast and electronic media as well as outdoor publicity for dissemination of information to generate awareness on schemes relating to welfare of tribals," the report said.
Maintaining that funds should not be allowed to be reduced, the report said, "Since an enhanced allocation of Rs 240 crore has been made under Development of Primitive Tribal Group scheme for 2011-12, the Committee desires the Ministry to take adequate steps for full utilization of funds."