The Pradhan Kadamtala Sampad Kumar Roy Narrates the Incident

Port Blair, Oct. 4: The report of a group of Jarawa coming out of Kadamtala Jungle and demanding to meet the Lt. Governor has raised many eyebrows. While many were of the opinion that the Administration is not truly supporting the tribes, there were many others who felt ‘mainstreaming’ is the only solution. Apart from this there are many other opinions floating in the social media on what needs to be done with the Jarawa.

Andaman Chronicle after observing the situation, today contacted the concerned Pradhan of Kadamtala, Shri Sampad Kumar Roy, who himself had called the media over phone and allowed the Jarawa man Afe to speak.

Here is what Sampad has to say…

“There was a group of 10 Jarawa who reached the Panchayat Office at about 9.00 am on 3rd Oct. 2013. They were in a very aggressive mood. They demanded that they wanted to talk to the headman (bada sahab) in the Panchayat Building. To this the AAJVS staff directed them to me.”

“One among them named Afe representing the group told me that they wanted to meet the Lt. Governor (LG) and the Deputy Commissioner (DC) as they had a lot of complaints to make. By then the Station House Officer of Kadamtala too had reached. Since the Jarawa insisted he dialled the DC and allowed Afe to speak to the DC.”

“The Jarawa demanded for iron tools like Chawal, Masala, Dah, Kuhlari, Bada Degchi, Fishing Hooks, Plastic items, Clothes etc. They even said they wanted to send their children to school”.

The Pradhan further said, “The Jarawa said that their parents were not able to send them to school but now they want that their children are educated. They wish to be settled like the Onge and be provided with ration items. They wanted govt. jobs too and get settled”.  

On being asked as to how the Jarawa knew about LG and DC, Sampad said, “When I asked them about this, they said whenever the LG and DC passes through the area, the AAJVS tells them that LG Sahab or DC Sahab is coming this way. They are told to stay back in the jungle. In this way they know that LG and the DC are higher authorities”.

Sampad even recollected that on earlier occasion he had happened to meet the Jarawa. The Jarawa had then demanded for football and other sports items.

“They want to come into the mainstream”, said the Pradhan.

After having witnessed yesterday’s incident, the Pradhan of Kadamtala concludes that it is high time the Jarawa be brought to the mainstream. He adds, “There are so many uninhabited islands. Why can’t the Administration settle them in one of the islands? In this way the settlers will also be able to live in peace”.