Anthropological Survey of India’s (AnSI) warning on Sentinel Island

Recently, the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) has released a warning related to the threat to Sentinel Island through commercial activities. As per the warning, any commercial activity in the North Sentinel Island can pose a serious threat to the occupants of the island, especially the vulnerable tribal group (PVTG)- Sentinelese, who resides here.

Key Points

  • North Sentinel Island is an island of Andamans. It is a small group of islands in the Bay of Bengal and also comprises South Sentinel Island.
  • North Sentinel Island is home to the Sentinelese population which has voluntarily isolated themselves from the world.
  • Sentinelese has a population of around 50 to 100 at North Sentinel Island.
  • The document released by the Anthropological Survey of India points out an immediate need of creating a knowledge bank on the Sentinelese.
  • As the “on-the-spot” study is not possible due to the isolation of the tribe, a study from a distance should be conducted.
  • The document by AnSI also puts the fact that the study by American researcher John Allen Chau is extremely important as he closely saw the tribe by spending a few days at the island.
  • Chau was killed by Sentinelese people a day after he submitted his report.
  • The AnSI has recently published the policy inputs in a paper titled ‘Draft of the Policies for Great Andamanese and Sentinelese’.
  • The policy calls for preserving natural resources on the island, taking steps for preserving the Great Andamanese language and teaching it as a third language to the members of the tribe, prohibiting the entry of unauthorized people to Strait Island, and safeguarding children and women from any kind of exploitation.

Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI)

It is an organization under the government of India which is responsible for conducting field data research and anthropological studies for human and cultural aspects. It was formed in the year 1945 and is headquartered in Kolkata.

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