Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

Let PVTGs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Grow with their genius and at their own pace- lt. Governor, A&N Islands

We Should Learn How to Live in Tandem with Nature From PVTGS in A&N Islands- Chairman, NCST

NCST Organises “National Seminar on Conservation of particularly vulnerable tribes of Andaman & nicobar islands: the way forward”

Posted On: 27 JUN 2018 5:41PM by PIB Delhi

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has organized a Two daysNational Seminar on “Conservation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Way Forward”here today.The Seminar was inaugurated by the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Admiral (Retd.) D.K. Joshi. The Chairman of NCST Shri Nand Kumar Sai presided over the inaugural function.


About 44 Ministries/Departments areparticipating in the seminar to present their strategies and approach towards PVTGs in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This Seminar has been organized in collaboration with Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) and Directors of 18 Tribal Research Institutes in different States are also participating to deliberate on critical issues of tribal groups who are at the verge of extinction.  Vice Chancellors of six Universities including Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak will provide academic inputs on PVTGs.  Domain experts, NGO and Civil Society representatives are also providing their perspective so that a holistic view is taken on way forward.


Delivering inaugural address, Lt. Governor, Andaman and Nicobar IslandsAdmiral (Retd.) D. K. Joshi emphasized that let PVTGs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands grow with their genius and at their own pace. He said that Andaman & Nicobar Islandsare home to the most primitive tribal groups: Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens.  Some of these tribal groups are on the verge of extinction.  It is important to understand the challenges they face and to preserve them.


In his address, Shri Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman, NCST said that today these fragile communities are facing expropriation of their ecosystem by outsiders. There is an aggressive brush off with non tribals- traders and tourists and this is impacting their physical, environment and routine life. The outside influences are impacting their land use patterns, use of the sea, overall biodiversity leading to material and non-material changes in them and to some deleterious consequences. These is clearly need to learn from what happened to the Onges and the Great Andamanese who have been adversely impact by outside influences brought in by tourism and modern development.


In his welcome address, Secretary, NCST Shri Raghav Chandra dwelt upon many important issues pertaining to the most primitive tribal groups of Andaman and Nicobar Islands viz Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens.  He said that the Tribal way of life is the simplest, serene and sustainable in the world, Modern mankind with its expensive, waste-including, consumerist lifestyle has a lot to learn from our ancient native tribes- most notably about to coexist peacefully and how to reduce our footprint on mother earth.  The total area of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is 8249 sq kms or twelve times the size of the country of Singapore. The total number of tribes on these islands are 28077, out of which 97% are the more developed Nicobarese. The five particularly venerable tribes are the sentinelese only 50, in North Sentinel Island; Andamanese: 70 in Strait Islands; Ongese : 120 in little Andaman Islands;  Shompens: 238 in Great Nicobar Island and Jarawas : 500 in middle and South Andaman Islands.


He further said that historically, although these islands lay along the grand trade routes between Europe and East Asia, they remained isolated and unexplored. The A&N tribes represent oldest living indigenous communities of the world, with anthropological connections with both the original inhabitants of Africa and of East Asia which reveals in their features. Many attempts have been made across history by the colonial British rulers to subjugate them and to keep Andamans as a penal colony, but the indomitable spirit of the tribes was not easy to defeat.


Exclusive Thematic Sessions have been organized held on the Sentinelese, Great Andamanies, Onge, Jarawa, Shompen.  The deliberations take stock of the impact of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation 1956 as amended in 2005 and 2012 along with 2004 Policy on Jarawa Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar.  Similarly, the 2015 Policy on Shompen of Great Nicobar Islands have been discussed in the Seminar. The entire architect of welfare approach by the Government is analysed in the seminar for a road map for PVTGs in Andaman, which are a role model for PVTGs in other States.







Sanjay Kumar/jk/NCST/27.06.2018




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