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  • Geet Achhra

The Hidden Gem of Sentinel Island: A World Apart

The mystical Sentinel Island, hidden amid the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the deep blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, is a place that time forgot. Because of its isolation and the indigenous Sentinelese people that consider it their home, North Sentinel Island occupies a unique place in all of humanity.

The Sentinelese people are known to be one of the world’s most isolated communities. The population is estimated to be about 50 to 150 people, but exact statistics are impossible to determine due to their disapproval to outsiders. They have been known to oppose all attempts at communication, frequently resorting to violence to keep their solitude.

The seclusion of Sentinel Island has now become a source of wonder in the age of COVID- 19. Because of their isolation from the outside world, the Sentinelese have escaped the deadly epidemic that has swept humanity. While the rest of the world was struggling with lockdowns, social distancing, and vaccine drives, the Sentinelese continued to live in the past, unharmed by the virus. This unintentional immunity demonstrates the strength of isolation in the face of global crises. The Sentinelese's strict policy of keeping outsiders at bay has, in a strange twist of fate, worked in their favour. Their approach to the world, or rather the lack of it, has kept them safe from the pandemic's impacts, making Sentinel Island a special and little-known haven.

Various attempts at communication have been met with hostility over the years, putting both outsiders and the Sentinelese at risk. Recognising the Sentinelese people's commitment to remain uncontacted, the Indian government established strict laws prohibiting access into their land.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the Sentinelese's untouched existence on Sentinel Island serves as a reminder of indigenous cultures' resilience and uniqueness, as well as the importance of preserving these cultural treasures while respecting their choice to remain detached from the modern world.

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