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 sustained in Andaman islands 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’s habits. They do not know the legal developments in society. They do now know even the cultivation. Their main occupation is hunting. They 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 number of people in the tribe was 672; now, the population has gone down to barely 100 individuals. Their 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 in South Bay.
Onge Tribe Decline:
The main demographic trouble of Onge is they are one of the least fertile and most sterile people in the world. Half of the couples in this society belong to sterile. Onge women rarely become pregnant before the age of 28. Due to their least fertile, inf, ant 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 leading causes of to reduce in 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. The development programs they turned to promote commercial purposes, such as planting red oil palm trees in 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 entirely unsuitable for the Onges. The supplied foodstuffs such as rice, dal, oil and biscuits were totally against the food habits 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 in living 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, failed.
Onge People Complaints:
Alcohol was introduced to the Onges, and they have become addicts. Onge people gather valuable resources such as honey, turtle eggs, wild boar meat and ambergris from the forest and exchange them with the settlers. Illegal activities, such as occupations, have become widespread due to the decline of rare creatures, monitor lizards, dugongs and wild pigs. These are only the primary sources of food for 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 for the Onge people to hunt the wild pigs in the forest becoming difficult. And they asked the government to stop the timber extraction operations. Then only the Tribal people can sustain themselves long.