The campaign started by Survival International and SEARCH is gaining momentum with tour operators and leading travel companies who cater a large number of tourists in Andaman giving their willingness to join the campaign. In a recent development today, ‘Andaman Escapades Pvt. Ltd.’, a destination management company catering thousands of tourists every year in the islands has given its willingness to join the campaign.
Survival and SEARCH in June 2011 had appealed to the tourists worldwide to boycott the stretch of the most controversial stretch of Andaman Trunk Road that passes through the home of the endangered Jarawa tribe, who number just 300 and odd. The dwindling tribe of Andaman has been surviving in the islands for more than 60,000 years and are considered as one among the first human race who migrated from Africa.
The Jarawa resisted contact with the British who had occupied in the islands and the growing numbers of Indian settlers on their islands until 1998. Now, they are under serious threat due to poachers who hunt the animals they depend on and bring diseases, violence and exploitation. In 1999 and 2006 the Jarawa suffered outbreaks of measles – a disease that has wiped out many tribes worldwide following contact with outsiders.
Expressing his opinion on the campaign, Shri Abdul Majeed, Director of Andaman Escapades wrote to SEARCH in which he said, “We cater both International and Domestic Indian Clients. Many of our clients had been visiting Baratang in the past. But off late we realized that the tourist visiting to Baratang trough Andaman Trunk road are not very keen on visiting Mud volcano and lime stone cave but to see and encounter Jarawa tribe…”
“This we realized when recently Andaman trunk Road was closed due to a Steel Bridge repair and had to send our clients trough boats which they were not very keen on … We appreciate this initiative”.
Shri Mohammed Sajid, the Managing Director of the Company talking to the Director of SEARCH said, “We have been keenly following this campaign and we decided to extend our whole hearted support as long as it is for a noble cause to protect a human race, who will be extinct if timely action is not taken”.
Andaman Escapades Pvt. Ltd. is a destination management company in the islands and cater to 5000 tourists annually in the islands, which includes Indians and foreigners as well. Among the list of their cliental are the Italian Consulate General, Issaballa Satirmo, Gladyo Taratori, CEO of ENI, an Oil Rig Company, companies like Infosys, Microsoft, Google, Zybia, Norcsort Drilling and others.
Andaman Holidays Pvt. Ltd. which had already joined and Andaman Escapades Pvt. Ltd. are both members of the Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which still feels that the stretch of Andaman Trunk Road should remain open.