Time For the Department to Realize the Fact That Contact of Jarawa and Settlers is Not Restricted to ATR

Port Blair, July 25: In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the tribal area, the Secretary (Tribal Welfare), A&N Administration has restricted the number of convoys on the Andaman Trunk Road passing through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve to one only with effect from 27th July 2020.

Only one convoy per day from Jirkatang to Middle Strait and one convoy per day from Middle Strait to Jirkatang is allowed from 27th July 2020 till further notice.

The timing of the convoy will be 1000 Hrs from Jirkatang to Middle Strait and 1500 Hrs from Middle Strait to Jirkatang.

The health status of the Driver/ Crew & Passengers must be undertaken before they cross into other District, while the travellers must ensure the following while passing through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve:

Always wear mask, Sanitize hands, Maintain Social Distancing, Follow Convoy, Keep Windows of Vehicles Closed, Not to give eatables to the tribals, Not to stop vehicles inside Jarawa area and Not to allow the Jarawa Tribals to get inside any vehicles.

While the Tribal Welfare Department has come up with measures to spread COVID-19 among the Jarawa tribals, they seem to have missed to understand that the contact with the Jarawa and the settlers is not restricted on the Andaman Trunk Road. Poachers have been frequenting inside the Jarawa Reserve through the Western Coast and areas accessible by foot. It is expected that the Tribal Welfare Department would make a note of this and put some fool proof measures in place to completely stop the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic among the vulnerable tribal community of A&N Islands.