February 2, 2016



The Jarawa live in India, on the Andaman Islands. This is the most ancient people in the world, the last descendants of the first humans who left Africa 60,000 years ago. For more than 35,000 years, they have lived with practically no contact with our world.


Now there are no more than 420 of them, and they face the threat of disappearance in the coming years. A road cuts through their forest. It is taken every day by several hundred tourists hoping to take photos of the Jarawa. A veritable human zoo. In 2013, the Supreme Court of India ordered the closure of this road of shame, to no avail. Recently, the Indian government even decided to widen it. Works will hasten the disappearance of the Jarawa. The matter is urgent:  In 2014, four Jarawa children treated at a local hospital died as a result of wrong medical prescriptions. The same year, several Jarawa women were abducted by Indians.


The Jarawa are directly threatened by tourism and the road that cuts through their forest, by poaching and the illegal game meat trade that is going on with the complicity of Indian forest rangers meant to protect them, and by the opaque management of the AAJVS, the government organisation responsible for their protection. Furthermore, the Indian government is denying them the right to decide their own future.


We investigated for more than three years, and we met with the Jarawa and gave them a chance to speak. This is what they told us: they do not wish to join the Indian community. They want to continue to live far from our world. Their game is becoming increasingly scarce. Soon, they will no longer have anything to eat.


To learn more about the Jarawa, visit our blog


Now we are sending a petition to Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Damodardas Modi, Indian Minister of Tribal Affairs Mr Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava, AAJVS President Mr Nabanita Ganguly and Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Mr Ajay Kumar Singh, to tell them to:


  • abide by their commitment to protect the Jarawa as specified in the AAJVS annual report for 2012-2013: the organisation's vision is to 'discharge its duties and responsibilities as the trustee of a unique heritage on behalf of India and the world by conserving the ecology and environment of the tribal reserve territory and strengthening support systems in order to enable the PTGs [particularly vulnerable tribal groups] to live as per their own genius';


  • close the Andaman Trunk Road and develop alternative means of transport (such as ferries) to connect the north and south of Great Andaman;


  • make the Jarawa's territory impervious to any intrusion by strengthening security and stopping the illegal game meat trade; 


  • prepare detailed reports on all interventions and interactions between law enforcement officers and local forest rangers with the Jarawa and allow unrestricted access to these reports; and


  • respect the Jarawa's fundamental human rights by allowing them to speak publicly about their choices for the future.



We request that all those who are concerned about saving our planet and the first peoples, all those who are shocked that economic interests and corruption may lead to the disappearance of these peoples, sign our petition to put pressure on the Indian government to ensure that the Jarawa may continue to live as they wish. We also request that you share this petition with your friends and on social networks and spread awareness of the Jarawa's story as far and wide as possible. 

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