End of tourism for Jarawa people


The Jarawa is a tribe of about 250 to 400 indigenous people who live in the tropical rainforests of the Andamans, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. They have lived on the islands without much contact from outside civilizations for thousands of years. The Jarawas are hunters and gatherers who came to the islands about 60,000 years ago. They are rather short with dark skin, similar to African bushmen.

Recently, a national highway has been built which connects the civilized part of the island with the tribal regions. Contact between the Jarawa and the outside population has increased, tourism is on the rise and diseases have been breaking out.

A short time ago, the Indian Supreme Court decided to close down the road that leads into the Jarawa area, in an attempt to protect the tribe’s habitat. As a result, members of the tribe can wander around freely without tourists staring at them. Experts see this decision as a measure of protecting indigenous people around the world and shielding them off from tourism and other outside influences. Contact with the outside world has had a lot of negative effects on the Jarawa tribe. Above all new diseases and addictions have reached the area.

Until 15 years ago there was almost no contact between members of the tribe and the Indian population living on the island. When the road through the jungle was finished in the 1980s, it became clear that isolation would end. Islanders argue that the road is needed to bring supplies between people who live in various parts of the islands. The jungle is also populated by hunters. fishers and poachers who exploit it .

Environmentalists against the road say that it puts the general population into contact with the Jarawa on a daily basis and brings unwanted diseases, for which the natives have no protection, into the area.

The worst thing, however, were the masses of tourists who travelled on the road, just to get a glimpse at the Jarawa people. The Indian Supreme court reacted after a British newspaper discovered that indigenous women and children exposed themselves nakedly just to please tourists and get food.

Location of the Andaman Islands

Location of the Andaman Islands


Human safaris endanger Jarawa tribe

Human safaris endanger Jarawa tribe


Related Topics



  • addiction = things that you cannot stop doing
  • argue = to say that something is a fact
  • attempt = try
  • connect = link
  • daily basis = every day
  • discover = find out
  • disease = illness
  • effect = result, outcome
  • environmentalist = a person who cares about the environment
  • exploit = take advantage of; get money out of
  • expose = show
  • gatherer = person who collects berries and plants in order to eat them
  • general population = normal people
  • glimpse = to see something for a short time
  • habitat = living area
  • highway = wide road
  • however = but
  • increase = go up
  • indigenous = native; having always lived there
  • influence = impact, effect
  • isolation = being alone
  • measure = way
  • naked = without any clothes on
  • outside civilization = other people
  • please = to make someone happy
  • poacher = person who hunts wild animals illegally
  • protect = defend, save, guard
  • recently = shortly; a short time ago
  • similar = like
  • stare = to look someone straight into the eyes for a long time
  • supplies = things that you need every day, like food, clothes, medicine
  • Supreme Court = the highest court in a country
  • tribe = social group of people of the same race and the same customs
  • various = different
  • wander around = move about