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Association Of Tour Operators Supports The Campaign By Survival International And SEARCH
June 28, 2011
Association Of Tour Operators Supports The Campaign By Survival International And SEARCH


28 June 2011

Port Blair:
The Association of Tour Operators in Andaman has given its willingness to support the cause of the endangered Jarawa tribe who number just around 365. Talking to the Director of SEARCH, the President of the Association, Shri M. Vinod said, “I was not aware of the campaign until I was told about it by the members of SEARCH. We are strongly against Jarawa Tourism and have been demanding the Andaman Administration to close the Andaman Trunk Road that passes through the Jarawa Reserve forest”.
Vinod further said, “While the Administration should take the decision of closing down the ATR, it should also work out alternate for the tourists. It can be the sea route to Baratang or an alternate road from Soul Bay which does not disturb the tribe”.
Survival International on 22nd June 2011 had launched a campaign calling for tourists to boycott the main highway in India’s Andaman Islands – an illegal road which cuts through the land of the endangered Jarawa tribe.
The Andaman Trunk Road is both illegal – India’s Supreme Court ordered it closed in 2002, but it remains open – and highly dangerous for the Jarawa, who number just 365.
The hunter-gatherer Jarawa have only had friendly contact with outsiders since 1998 and so tourists risk passing on diseases to which the tribe has little immunity. An epidemic could decimate the tribe.
Thousands of tourists, both Indian and international, travel along the road each month. Rules supposed to protect the Jarawa are routinely broken, and the Jarawa reserve is in effect a human safari park.
SEARCH a local organization in the islands, which supports the Jarawa rights had joined the campaign along with Survival International.
SEARCH also appeals to the tour companies, tour operators and hoteliers to discourage tourists to travel on the stretch of ATR that cuts right through the home of the endangered Jarawa tribe. Meanwhile it urges the Andaman Administration to open up an alternate route through sea from Port Blair to Baratang and close down the ATR from Jirkatang to Middle Strait immediately.