The heat on Sunday afternoon did not stop youngsters from using their imagination while sculpting turtles out of sand as a part of the ‘Save the Turtle’ campaign. Organised by ezoneINDIA, the event held at Marina beach saw 750 participants from across schools, colleges and corporates.
“We even have a few families and older participants in their 40s and 50s who were eager to give it a go,” said Hafiz Khan, the man behind the initiative.
Intended to create awareness around Olive Ridleys in their nesting season that goes on till March, the activity was hard to miss even from the main road with colourful flags dotting the seashore opposite Vivekananda Illam. The bigger crowd puller, smack in the centre of the long line of participants at work, was a massive 40-foot-long turtle put together by students of Mohamed Sathak AJ Academy of Architecture.
“It took about five hours to build, and the students started putting it together as early as 7 am,” said assistant professor Tarika Selvam.
To keep this gigantic turtle made of sand from disintegrating through the day, a number of volunteers gave it a quick ‘touch up’ ever so often. And the tools various teams used for this project covered everything from spades to perforated soap trays used to create imprints on a turtles shell.
Watching the bustle of the competition as it unfolded, it was heartening to note that volunteers had placed dustbins across this section of the beach to ensure that any litter from this activity was quickly disposed off.
- Olive Ridley mothers come to the same place they were born
- The sex of the hatchlings depends upon the temperature and humidity inside the nest
- Hatchlings emerge during the night and are guided by the moonlight shimmer to the ocean
As a part of the group’s efforts, Hafiz added, “We have regular turtle walks happening every night between 10.30 pm and 4.30 am, to pick up eggs along the shoreline and get them to a safe place.”
On February 21, there will be a Ridley Run open to anyone interested to raise more awareness over the cause of these vulnerable species. Call 9840254762 or 9943847075 for details.