Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shocking Intrusion by Tourists.

This sort of story in the news infuriates me. Here's an excerpt from an article in the guardian today (with the link below so you can read the full story) and a link to the video in question.

Andaman Islands tribe threatened by lure of mass tourism

" "Dance," the policeman instructed. The girls in front of him, naked from the waist up, obeyed. A tourist's camera panned round to another young woman, also naked and awkwardly holding a bag of grain in front of her. "Dance for me," the policeman commanded.

The young woman giggled, looked shy and hopped from foot to foot. The camera swung back to the others who clapped, swayed and jumped.
This kind of video is the trophy tourists dream of when they set off into the jungles of the Andaman Islands "on safari". The beauty of the forest functions merely as a backdrop. The goal of the trip is to seek out the Jarawa, a reclusive tribe only recently contacted, which is taking the first tentative steps towards a relationship with the outside world.

The Jarawa tribe is 403-strong. Its members are trusting, innocent and hugely vulnerable to exploitation, living in a jungle reserve on South Andaman. The islands are a spectacular magnet for tourists, set in the Bay of Bengal and belonging to India.

The role of the police is to protect tribespeople from unwelcome and intrusive outsiders. But on this occasion the officer had accepted a £200 bribe to get the girls to perform. "I gave you food," he reminded them at the start of the video.

Every day hundreds of tourist cars line up on the Andaman Trunk Road, which winds through the reserve. Signs at the entrance warn them of the rules; no pictures, no contact, nothing to disturb the tribe members. Most are already struggling to come to grips with the diseases of the outside world which have beset them since they started to make forays out of the jungle 14 years ago.
But, on the day the Observer visited, when the gates opened the cameras immediately started clicking. Tourists threw bananas and biscuits to the tribespeople at the roadside, as they would to animals in a safari park."

Here the video:

And here's the full story:

Why cant we leave people in peace? And why does the ignorance of some people have to affect others lives so catastrophically? Its bad enough that we put this tribe at risk of death by taking our viruses and illnesses near to them but to exploit and abuse people for a bit of entertainment..... completely unnacceptable. If this gets to you as much as it has to me, please follow the link below to read about how to help the Jarawa tribe and if you can, donate some money to their cause.

Jarawa people at risk from disease, predatory sex and exploitation as tourist convoys crowd the road through their jungle

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