Change is constant. This statement is true for everyecological system we live in and although if not solely, humans are responsiblefor most of that change . Each and every action by us, especially in thisgeneration accounts for changes in the environment around us. Sadly not many ofus are concerned about the change that we bring culturally and ecologically,except for a few NGO’s and activists . In a place like India the politicalactivities would have major impact on the ecology because of its diverse nature.Pankaj Sekhsaria, a researcher in Science and Humanities is one of the fewenvironmental activists in India who studies the complex issues that arise withthese changes. Throughout the last two decades he has raised many issues likebattle against plastic, endangered wild species, the Sagarmala project and manymore.
But his main interest and engagement all the time was in “TheAndaman and Nicobar Islands”. This should be no wonder considering theuniqueness of the islands in each and every way possible. For a placelike Andaman and Nicobar islands there are mainly three factors that we need totake into consideration for a better understanding of it. The three factors arethe environment, communities that are present there and the type of developmentthat needs to happen. The geographical position of these islands account forthe unique flora and fauna present there.
It is home for many varieties ofplants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. The tropical rainforest has hundreds of varieties of forest mammals, birds, insects and flowers.Some of these are endemic due to illegal human activities. Coming to thedemographics, it’s population is around four lakhs and around 500 of them arenative tribe communities like Jarawa , Sintenelese and Nicobarese. These islands are prone tonatural calamities like earthquakes very frequently. Now that we knowthe thing that define these islands these are the main questions raised byPankaj Sekhsaria as an environmentalist over his two and half decade study ofthe islands. Is Development really needed in a place like Andaman. If yes, whattype and to what extent? According to his argument, if government proposes anew type of project to happen there so that we can boost our economy anddevelop, there is an indirect impact on the culture and ecology present there.
Thereis a very interesting case to describe this. At the start of 2000 there was arumour spreading out in the andaman and Nicobar Islands that people will beable to witness the first sunrise of the millennial. This attracted manytourists. The Government of Andaman and Nicobar took it as an opportunity toboost its tourism sector. Its efforts were almost to get 20000 people on a tinyIsland of katchal. Most of the visitors were foreigners. These types of eventsrequire large amounts of natural resources to be used from those islands .
Again at the end of the event all the waste has to be dumped In The Islanditself. Luckily this even never happened number of questions were posted by theenvironmental groups. This lead to a campaign to know the real facts behind theevent. After a significant research the whole thing turned out to be bogus.
If the event really happened therewould have been tons of waste