Countdown to end ‘human safaris’ in Andamans

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Mar 06, 2014 01:34 IST

A London-based organisation that helped expose ‘human safaris’ in the Andaman Islands in 2012 has launched a one-year coundown timer to end ongoing tourist traffic to see the Jarawa tribe by March 2015.

Survival International, which exposed the practice with the Observer newspaper, said the Andaman authorities had pledged to introduce an alternative sea route by March 2015, in order to take tourists off the road that cuts through the reserve.

Currently, hundreds of tourists travel through the Jarawa’s forest every day, the organisation said and added that environmental clearance for the sea route had not yet been granted, making it unlikely that the deadline will be met.

“It has been over two years since the human safaris scandal, exposed by the British Observer newspaper and Survival, sent shockwaves around the world, yet the safaris still continue,” it said.

Survival said it had written to Union environment minister Veerappa Moily, urging him to approve the alternative sea route as a matter of urgency, and appealed to the islands’ Lieutenant Governor AK Singh to ensure the alternative route is in place by March 2015.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “The Andamans are inextricably linked to this embarrassing saga. The authorities must stick to their self-imposed deadline. Otherwise, the future is bleak for the Jarawa tribe.”

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