Onge tribal People in the Andaman Islands:
Onge tribal people are one of the ancient four Negrito tribal communities that still survive in the Andaman islands tribe, which is now sustaining in Andaman islands located in the Bay of Bengal. Some others are living in nearby islets. They are the Andamanese Adivasi indigenous people. Their lifestyle is quite similar to the nomadic people habits. They do not know the formal developments in the society. They do now know even the cultivation. Their main occupation is hunting. They totally depend on hunting for food. Their population has been reducing due to the changes in their food habits and contact with the outside world. In 1901 the population of the tribe was 672, now the population went down to barely 100 individuals. Theirs inhabit of the area is around 732 sq km of the thickly forested island of Little Andaman. The community is at the edge of extinction. To survive the tribe the government took preventive steps and arranged two reserve camps. One is in little Andaman, Dugong Creek and another one is South Bay.
Onge Tribe Decline:
The main demographic troubles of Onge is, they are one of the least fertile and most sterile people in the world. Half of the couple in this society belongs to sterile.Onge women rarely become pregnant before the age of 28. Due to their least fertile the infant and child mortality is very low. It is more than 40%. The net reproductive index for the Onge is less than 1%. These are all the main caused to reduce the population of One people.
Onge Tribe And Development programs:
Due to the above results, the government of India planned a massive development in 1960. The government tried to strengthen the fragile environment and concentrated the rights of the tribal communities. With the development programs turned as the promotion of commercial purposes that planting the red oil palm trees, the timber based industries. Those affected the Onges sideline and the violations started.
Then the welfare society ‘The Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti(AAJVS), introduced some welfare activities which are completely unsuitable for the Onges. The supplied foodstuffs such as rice, dal, oil and biscuits were totally against food habit of the Onge tribe. Their traditional food included the meat of the wild boar and turtle, fish, tubers and honey. The welfare society constructed asbestos roofing houses for the tribe, but these structures were not suited for the hot and humid environment of the islands. So the people were interested to live in their traditionally structured huts nearby the forests. Every attempt of the government and the welfare societies like raising the coconut plantation and pig breeding among the Onge tribe were failed.
Onge People Complaints:
Alcohol was introduced to the Onges and they have become addicts. Onge people gather the valuable resources such as honey, turtle eggs, wild boar meat and ambergris from the forest and exchange them with the settlers. The illegal activities such as occupations have become wide as the result the decline of the rare creatures, monitor lizard, the dugong and the wild pig. These are only the main sources of food to the Onge people.
The tribes’ main complaint to the government is the settlers living in their areas and troubling the Onge people. It is difficult to the Onge people to hunt the wild pigs in the forest becoming difficult. And they asking the government to stop the timber extraction operations. Then only the Tribal people can sustain long.