Stop Human Safaris on Andaman Islands of India

Target: India’s Ministry of Home Affairs

Goal: Ban all recreational human safaris from encroaching on the Jarawa tribe’s territory.

The Jarawa are a reclusive tribe, consisting of only about 250-400 people, inhabiting the jungles of the Andaman Islands located in the waters surrounding India. For thousands of years, they have lived peacefully and isolated from the rest of the world and its industrialization and development. Now, the Jarawa are under threat. Large private companies have begun operating tourist excursions and human safari-like expeditions around the islands and the tribe’s territory. These businesses are interfering with the Jarawa’s lives and their desire to be left alone. These tours must be stopped in order to ensure the livelihood of the Jarawa is kept safe and that they are allowed their privacy.

After the Great Andaman Truck Road was constructed in the late 1970s, the volume of foreign travelers and visitors rapidly increased due to more accessible means of getting around the islands. Not only does the amount of tourists visiting disregard the majority of the tribe’s wishes to be a secluded people, it threatens the entire Jarawa’s survival. With over 200,000 island visitors a year, these outsiders bring with them diseases and infections that the tribe has no resistance to after living isolated in the jungle for so many centuries. Poachers have begun stealing away precious food resources within their jungle and reports have been made on the assault and abuse of tribal women who are curious and wander into nearby towns.

It it entirely unfair to exploit the Jarawa and their land after they have rightfully and peacefully lived on the Andaman Islands  for so long. Human safari’s are overtaking this tribe’s sense of security and could soon ruin this private culture completely. Sign this petition and urge government officials to take action on this issue, enforcing a ban on tourism expeditions and ultimately securing the protection of the Jarawa people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear India’s Ministry of Home Affairs,

For at least two thousand years, the Jarawa tribe has inhabited the jungles of the Andaman Islands. They are a very secluded group of people with their total population count being somewhere between 250-400. Recent industrialization and tourism within the tribe’s territory of the islands have already caused irreparable damage to the safety and privacy to their people and will continue to have negative effects on their well-being until drastic changes are made.

Placing a ban on human safaris and tourist expeditions into land that is rightfully the Jarawa’s is imperative. Large companies take hundreds of thousands of tourists every year into the jungles to gawk and throw food at the natives. Not only is this disrespectful, it invades the privacy of a group who would rather not have contact with the outside world. Their security and livelihood is also being threatened. There are reports of many women being assaulted by outsiders as well as poachers hunting the game that would usually feed many families of the Jarawa. Please take action on this issue and enforce a ban against human safaris and invasive tourism.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Collin Keys (very busy these days) via Flickr

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  • Maria Albrecht
  • stefan hellmann
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  • Yvonne Fast
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  • Vivien Green
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