Parl panel favours policy change on Jarawa tribe

A Parliamentary Standing Committee has favoured bringing of Jarawas into the mainstream with minimum damage to their cultural heritage.

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2012, 21:04 PM IST

New Delhi: 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 it 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.

PTI