• Chowra is an 8 sq.km. dot on the Andaman sea, part of the Nicobar archipelago.
  • And on it live 1,350 people, the Nicobarese islanders of Chowra.
  • They grow food in shared gardens, catch fish, rear pigs, dogs and chickens.
  • Idyllic as it sounds, these islanders have struggled — primarily to make a living and find freshwater.
  • But today they grapple with another challenge: their sense of home is under threat.
  • Chowra is a coralline sea-mount, on which a thin layer of clayey soil nurtures food gardens, plantations and grasslands.
  • The Nicobarese used the grass to build their exquisitely thatched homes nyi hupul or ‘beehive stilted houses’ as the British colonials called them.