Survival International has today launched a tourism boycott of India’s Andaman Islands, until the degrading practice of ‘human safaris’ to the 400-strong Jarawa tribe is stopped.

The tribal rights organization is calling on the 200,000 tourists visiting the islands every year to stay away – until tourists are banned from the road through the Jarawa’s forest and an alternative sea route is put in place.

Survival has written to over 200 travel companies and websites in eleven countries urging them to stop their tours to the Andaman Islands, and will place ads targeted at tourists to discourage them from visiting the popular travel destination. Survival is also asking members of the public to pledge not to travel to the islands until the demands are met.

Hundreds of tourists from India and around the world travel along the illegal Andaman Trunk Road every day to ogle at members of the Jarawa tribe – treating them like animals in a safari park.

When asked how he felt when outsiders took pictures of him, Enmai, a young Jarawa, said, ‘I don’t feel good. I don’t like it when they take photos from their vehicles.’

Earlier this year, India’s Supreme Court banned tourists from the road for seven weeks, reducing the traffic along the Andaman Trunk Road by two thirds. But the ban was lifted after the Islands’ authorities changed their own regulations in order to let the ‘human safaris’ continue.

The tours have been widely condemned both in India and around the world. India’s Minister for Tribal Affairs called them ‘disgraceful’ and ‘an embarrassment’, and last year, in response to a submission by Survival, the United Nations expressed their ‘deep concern’ about the ‘human safaris’ and called for the illegal road to be closed.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The Andaman government is arguing that the road is a necessary lifeline for the north of the islands. It’s nonsense: in fact there’s no reason for the road. The route by boat is faster, more convenient and cheaper for islanders, so providing an alternative sea route is better for locals, tourists, and the Jarawa alike. There will be no end to these degrading human safaris until tourists stop using the road, and we’ll continue the boycott until that happens.’


Port Blair, April 28: The Anthropological Survey of India's (ASI) regional centre at Port Blair will hold a two day national seminar to mark the culmination of the year long Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Port Blair on 6th and 7th May. 

Addressing the Inter Media Publicity Coordination Committee meeting held at ASI centre on Friday, Dr. M. Sasi Kumar, Dy. Director ASI, Port Blair said the seminar will be held on "Life, Livelihood Strategies and Technology among the Hunter -Gatherers" at the ASI auditorium at Port Blair. Anthropological experts from different parts of the country will take part in it. The objective of the seminar is that anthropological appraisal of the course of human adaptation with special focus on hunter-gatherers as prevails in contemporary time. He also revealed that a Photo exhibition on Islands Cultures of India will also be organised as part of the celebration and it will be open for the public for the next six months.

Dr. Sasi Kumar also informed that the ASI launched the prestigious project of People of India in 1992 and published a multi volume series of books under two collections with first eleven comprising the national series and the remainder as states series.  He said all these collections are available in the well maintained library of the ASI centre at Port Blair and invited the IMPCC members to visit the library to view these rare collections.

Briefing on the seminar, the Superintending Anthropologist, Shri A. Justin informed that the theme has been chosen for the seminar, since Andaman and Nicobar region is considered as abode of many hunter-gatherer communities including Jarawa, Onge, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and Shompens. He revealed that  in the earlier seventies friendly contact programmes were conducted for these tribes through Aadim Janjathi Vikas Samiti (AAJVS) and all of them except Sentinalese have gradually given up their hostility towards the outside world.  The Sentinalese dwelling on the sentinel island still follow their traditional life style and distinct identity without any outside intervention and also managed to survive through 2004 killer tsunami that ravaged these islands, he added.  Justin also clarified that the friendly contact programmes with the Sentinelese could not be continued on regular basis due to the policy decision of the government.

The hunter gatherers face problems of health, nutrition and other resources due to various factors and the impact of economic policies, explained Justin. However, they successfully managed to continue their hunter gatherer way of life by adopting economic and residential flexibility and diversification.  The seminar will deliberate on the course of such adaptations of hunter gatherers in a fast changing human livelihood and emerging social and cultural patterns, he explained.

Earlier, the Chairman of the IMPCC, Shri R Mohan addressed the members. He said the national seminar by ASI to be inaugurated by the Islands Chief Secretary, Anand Prakash will be covered appropriately by both Print and electronic media.

The Regional Director of IGNOU, Kasturi Pesala informed that the IGNOU will launch MA course in Anthropology from this academic year for the benefits of the island students.  She also sought the co-operation of ASI centre to conduct the course effectively.

The heads of the media units and different departments and officers from member organisations actively participated in the deliberations of the meet and presented the brief report of their activities during the previous months.

The Vice chairman of IMPCC, Shri DVS Deep thanked all the members for having attended the meet.

Large Number of ESRD Patients Especially from Remote Areas Expected to Benefit: Dr. S.S. Singh

Port Blair, April 27: The C.A.P.D. Programme has been launched in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands today with the inauguration of C.A.P.D. (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis) room in the Nursing Home of G.B. Pant Hospital, Port Blair by Dr. S.K. Paul, Director of Health Services. The C.A.P.D. programme is expected to benefit a large number of ESRD patients especially from remote Islands.

A patient suffering from E.S.R.D. (End Stage Renal Disease) has only two options i.e. either he undergoes kidney transplantation from related donor/ cadaver or he remains on Dialysis for rest of his life. Dialysis is of two types: Haemodialysis or peritoneal Dialysis. In Haemodialysis the patient’s blood containing toxic products of metabolism are passed through an artificial kidney (Dialyser) with the help of a machine (Dialysis machine) and the purified blood is pumped back to the patient’s circulation. Haemodialysis can be performed in the Dialysis Unit in the Hospital only and each session takes four hours. Patients of ESRD on Haemodialysis has to undergo Dialysis two – three time per week. The Dialysis unit at G.B. Pant Hospital has been functioning since 2012 and is performing more than 500 Dialysis in a month.

In C.A.P.D. the transport of peritoneal membrane of the Abdomen is utilized for Dialysis. The peritoneal membrane is a semi permeable membrane which can transport solute and water in and out of the fluids poured into it. In this form of Dialysis a catheter is placed inside the peritoneal cavity by a simple surgical procedure and after 2.3 weeks break-in-period the Dialysis is started with installation of CAPD fluid into the abdomen through the catheter. Usually in an adult 2 litres of fluid is run inside the abdomen and is allowed to stay for four hours. After four hours the fluid is drained out and a fresh fluid is run inside. Usually a patient of ESRD requires 3-4 such exchanges of 4 hours every day. The advantage is that the patient with the help of an attendant can do it himself at home. Only requirement is a clean room at home for the procedure. The patient can attend to his daily works, the child on CAPD can go to school, the housewife can perform her daily activities. At present there are six patients in these islands who are on CAPD. For most of these patients catheter was inserted at mainland and the prescription was given by the Nephrologist. With the launching of CAPD programme at G.B. Pant Hospital, patients from Islands are no longer required to go to mainland for CAPD catheter insertion and prescription. The catheter can be inserted by the trained surgeon at G.B. Pant Hospital, Port Blair and prescription of CAPD and follow up can be done by the trained physician and technician. CAPD fluid which costs around Rs. 20,000 - 25,000/- per month is supplied to the patients free of cost from the medical store of the hospital. Initiation of CAPD Programme in Andaman will benefit a large number of patients of ESRD requiring Dialysis belonging to other islands. Also patients residing at Port Blair who wish to go on CAPD can also do that, explained Dr. S.S. Singh, Medical Specialist, G.B. Pant Hospital, Port Blair during the launch programme today.