My answer to How is life in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands?
Answer by Azhar Khan:
Andaman Islands, what can I say about it. Its lovely and its very different from any small town/village that people see in mainland India. This is the way it had been for me.
I was born and brought up in the islands, studied until 12th and later moved on for my studies to NIT Durgapur, West Bengal. Completed my graduations and worked for many software companies in Bangalore. I stayed in California, USA to deliver some projects for about 1 year. Finally, I thought it is better I try something for the place I belong and started working to help travelers visiting Andaman Islands. I hope now you will consider me eligible enough to answer the question as How it is in the Andaman Islands. You know what I experienced the first train journey when I was 17 years old. That too the Howrah Station, Kolkata. That was a nightmare to me it looked like the whole population of Andaman has come under the station. I still remember that day.
The first thing that comes in my mind is the peace and tranquility I have observed in this amazing destination. When I see cities such as Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai I will say that it has everything that a person wish to have, the advancement and the opportunities. Better healthcare facilities and many more things that Andaman may never have are present in almost every city. But the cities have something missing, can’t describe that thing, but I have experienced it. The fast advancement may have left people getting more materialized and the sense of respect and courtesy lacks at some place. The safety of both men and women are compromised. I am not generalizing anything out here but sometimes you do feel these things, specially when you are an outsider. It’s all virtual and not many get along very well. Someone who has a lot of money or is a local goon or is an influential person just comes by and say do not do this then we are sometimes compelled to do what is asked even though if it is not in one’s interest. I have seen that happening, a sense of freedom is lost and you are confined to that own space. Sorry, if I am quoting this in a wrong way, but I am not generalizing any of this to anyone. To add to this “Yes the traffic”
Now, Andaman has very little advancement, limited jobs, limited resources, limited healthcare facilities and many more. Thanks to Amazon these days that they are delivering products in the islands which we can order online. Flipkart has not started here yet. And yes 3G is still a dream in the islands here. Surfing youtube is like a 1 AM task when not many are using the web across the island.
See, the basic things required for an individual is present in the islands, except for an extremely bad internet connections. Specially in Port Blair (The Capital of Andaman) you find everything but as you move to other islands such as Neil, Middle Andaman, North Andaman and the Nicobar Islands the resources are very less. So people come to Port Blair, get their things and move back. The services that you find in Bangalore and Mumbai are not present. But, when I see things from a larger perspective, I feel that the people in the islands feel more secured, happy, safe, content and are obviously self driven. You can approach anyone out here easily. Most people in the islands are by choice of one’s interest or passion and they are happy and content with whatever they have. That is the most important thing I believe that drives these islands.
A person can anytime leave the island and move on to a city for a better life may be, but not many do that because they found what they were looking for. You meet people here, you will find that they are open to suggestions and are fun loving. Yes, they do say that “Andaman mein service nahi hai” along with that they say that “Humko Mainland nahi jaana”. If you seen Havelock Island today, its run by people of Bangladesh who were given settlement in Andaman after 1971. Today, if you ask them do you want to go back? They say NO as they know that they are happy and content with what they have out here.
So from what I feel is that despite of all its limitation, Andaman has all the charm that one require to live a calm and composed life. Its self driven, safe, approachable, and yes no religion is at a dominating position. We have people here from all over India living in peace and harmony. There have never been any communal violence in the history of Andaman. Each one has their own space. People respect each other. I can go on and on to be honest, just to say you that I am happy where I live today and where I belong. You might want to come for an extended vacation to the islands, to rejuvenate yourself.