Orissa's Bonda tribals pictured in 'human safaris'

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Bonda tribes
London, Jan 25: After the Jarawa tribals in Andaman islands was showcased in an insensitive 'human safari' video, yet another shocker has emerged from within the country. Similar 'human safaris' are being advertised by tour operators in Orissa, which is the home of Bonda tribes. The Jarawa tribals were shown being exploited and forced to dance semi-naked in the lure of food.

The matter came to light when a brochure of the Royal India Holidays showed one of their holiday packages to the tribal areas of Orissa stating that tourists can "see the lifestyle of tattooed, heavily beaded, nearly naked people, their day-to-day activity and their extremely primitive way of living." The brochure on the trip to the Jeypore area says, "After breakfast, an excursion to the nearby hills where most amazing and fierce Bondas tribes (naked people) reside."

The Bonda tribes remain unchanged since the last 1000 years, both in terms of lifestyle and culture. Most tour operators to the region concentrate on the Bonda tribes, this applies not just those operators based outside India, but within the country as well. Newton Singh, the owner of Royal India Holidays has been quoted as saying to Britain's Observer newspaper, "I don't want to do anything against the laws of humanity."

Another Indian tour operator, Aces India Tours based in Delhi mentions in their website, "On the north-west of river Machkund live the wildest, rudest and possibly the most interesting tribe known as Bonda Tribe. The scanty dress of the Bonda women and homicidal tendency of Bonda males make them most fascinating people."

Bhubaneswar based Dove Tours, added on the tribals, "The area we visit is the home of the (sic) approximately 6,000 members of the fierce Bondas (naked people)."

As per the Royal India Holidays and Dove tours the easiest way to see the Bondas is at a local market on Thursdays. A London based charity organization, Survival International that studies the issues of tribal people across the world also highlighted the issue. Stephen Corry, the director of the organization said, "Sadly, the existence of human safaris in the Andamans is not isolated, but replicated in other areas of India. Promoting tours by using derogatory terms such as 'primitive' and advertising their 'nakedness' shows a clear lack of respect."

OneIndia News

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