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Andaman finds representation too

Around 20 people travelled all the way from Andaman and Nicobar islands to make it to Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign at Ramlila Maidan on Monday.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi |
August 23, 2011 1:28:19 am

Around 20 people travelled all the way from Andaman and Nicobar islands to make it to Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign at Ramlila Maidan on Monday. Members of the group said they had travelled for four days — crossing over to mainland Tamil Nadu by boat,boarding a bus to Chennai and then undertaking a three-day train journey to Delhi — so they could support Hazare in his demand for the Jan Lokpal bill.

Thampi Donge,hailing from Port Blair,said,“We came from four islands in the Andaman and Nicobar — Lower Andamans,Tarasa,Katchali and Nancowry — because the people decided to send representatives to register their support as well.”

Dressed in their traditional outfits,comprising a dhoti and a sash covering their upper body,the members of the group cut a distinct figure,drawing stares from the crowd. “We dressed like this on purpose,so people know that we islanders are also part of the mainland,and are affected by issues such as corruption.”

The group said corruption was one of the main reasons for the islands still being underdeveloped. Sarauli Prasto of Katchali said,“So many monetary incentives have been announced by the government for the islands over the years. But the money hardly ever reaches us. The fact that our areas are so inaccessible makes it easier for the administration to take advantage of the situation.”

Members of the contingent said candlelight marches and demonstrations were being staged back home as well. “However,as there is almost no presence of the media in the islands,nobody ever knows about them. This gives the authorities a sense of security that nothing will happen to them. We are here to counter that perception by making our presence felt.”

The members of the group said they were made to feel at home by volunteers and supporters alike. “Now that we have come such a long way,we will stay in Delhi till the Jan Lokpal comes into being.”

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