Memorial for dead sea turtles
Many sea turtles activists including school students, teachers, Sea Turtle Protection Force (STPF) members from TREE Foundation and volunteers gathered at Neelankarai beach on Feb.22 to pay their homage to the 824 dead turtles that were killed in trawl boats on 22nd February, 2014 at Penna Estuary, Nellore. The same year also saw the death of 1000 turtles along the Vellar estuary in Cuddalore.
A huge sand model of an Olive Ridley sea turtle was built at Neelankarai beach, close to where many dead turtles had stranded in the past years. The main aim of this memorial is to raise awareness about the major threat to sea turtles: trawl fishing boats, gill nets and nets set to catch ray fish and guitar fish. In memory of all the dead turtles and the turtles that have died (between Neelankarai and Alambarai) during this turtle season, a few well-wishers recited their poems on the plight of sea turtles, during the memorial.
G. Elumalai, senior Sea Turtle Protection Force member, said, “We only hope that more enforcement is in place to reduce the unnecessary deaths of sea turtles and hope more people know about the wonderful role that sea turtles play in the marine ecosystem”
“This year, TREE Foundation has protected around 164 nests along the Kanchipuram coast. We have also recorded and buried nearly 112 dead Olive Ridley sea turtles. Based on the injuries sustained by the dead turtles it has been confirmed by the STPF members that the injuries have been due to fisheries’ interaction,” says Supraja Dharani.
Kareem, a knife sharpener can be seen driving around the lanes of Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur and ECR with a sharpening machine attached to his Splendor bike fitted with a speaker that canvasses his arrival.
A resident of Arakonam, Kareem has been sharpening knives, coconut scrapers for more than 7 years. “I have studied upto 10th standard and was introduced to this job at a young age. I used to visit different neighbourhood carrying the sanakkal machine on my back until I bought the bike recently. I usually start from my house at Arakonam at 4 a.m. every morning travel by train to Chennai and will leave for home by 5 p.m.,” adds Kareem.
Apart from sharpening the old knives, aruvamanai and other tools, Kareem also sells kadai, sambirani stand, coconut scraper, ladles and more. He charges from Rs.30 for sharpening. Kareem visits Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur and ECR on weekends. He can be contacted at 96554 48067.
Samaskriya Foundation conducted an awareness programme about plastic recycling at Thiruvanmiyur Public Library on Feb.17. About 70 school students attended the event, where they were taught to make paper bags. The children also took pledge to forgo plastic products in their day-to-day life.
The cricket team from Nellai Nadar Matriculation School with T.Rajkumar, Correspondent, posing with their winner’s trophy from inter school under-13 cricket tournament.
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